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Author: Courtemanche, Charles
Resulting in 7 citations.
1. Courtemanche, Charles
Longer Hours and Larger Waistlines? The Relationship Between Work Hours and Obesity
Forum for Health Economics and Policy 12,2 (May 2009): DOI: 10.2202/1558-9544.1123.
Also: http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/fhep.2009.12.2/fhep.2009.12.2.1123/fhep.2009.12.2.1123.xml?format=INT
Cohort(s): Children of the NLSY79, NLSY79
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG
Keyword(s): Body Mass Index (BMI); Child Health; Maternal Employment; Obesity; Parental Influences; Weight; Work Hours

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

Additional work hours may lead to weight gain by decreasing exercise, causing substitution from meals prepared at home to fast food and pre-prepared processed food, or reducing sleep. Substitution toward unhealthy convenience foods could also influence the weight of one's spouse and children, while longer work hours for adults may further impact child weight by reducing parental supervision. I examine the effects of adult work hours on the body mass index (BMI) and obesity status of adults as well as the overweight status of children. Longer hours increase one's own BMI and probability of being obese, but have a smaller and statistically insignificant effect on these outcomes for one's spouse. Mothers', but not mother's spouse's, work hours affect children's probability of being overweight. My estimates imply that changes in labor force participation account for only 1.4% of the rise in adult obesity in recent decades, but a more substantial 10.4% of the growth in childhood overweight.
Bibliography Citation
Courtemanche, Charles. "Longer Hours and Larger Waistlines? The Relationship Between Work Hours and Obesity." Forum for Health Economics and Policy 12,2 (May 2009): DOI: 10.2202/1558-9544.1123.
2. Courtemanche, Charles
Rising Cigarette Prices and Rising Obesity: Coincidence or Unintended Consequence?
Journal of Health Economics 28,4 (July 2009): 781-798.
Also: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S016762960900037X
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: Elsevier
Keyword(s): Body Mass Index (BMI); Cigarette Use (see Smoking); Obesity; Smoking (see Cigarette Use); Taxes; Weight

Economists have begun to debate if the rise in cigarette prices in the U.S. in recent decades has contributed to the nation’s rise in obesity, reaching conclusions that are surprisingly sensitive to specification. I show that allowing for the effect to occur gradually over several years leads to the conclusion that a rise in cigarette prices is actually associated with a long-run reduction in body mass index and obesity. This result is robust to the different methodologies used in the literature. I also provide evidence that indirect effects on exercise and food consumption may explain the counterintuitive result.
Bibliography Citation
Courtemanche, Charles. "Rising Cigarette Prices and Rising Obesity: Coincidence or Unintended Consequence?" Journal of Health Economics 28,4 (July 2009): 781-798.
3. Courtemanche, Charles
Working Yourself to Death? The Relationship Between Work Hours and Obesity
Working Paper, Department of Economics, Washington University - St. Louis, March 19, 2007
Cohort(s): Children of the NLSY79, NLSY79
Publisher: Department of Economics, Washington University - St. Louis
Keyword(s): Body Mass Index (BMI); Child Health; Maternal Employment; Obesity; Weight; Work Hours

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

I attempt to determine if the rise in labor force participation in the U.S. in the past half-century may have contributed to the nation’s growing obesity rate by examining the relationship between work hours and body weight. A causal relationship is possible since increased work hours may reduce exercise and cause substitution from meals prepared at home to fast food and pre-prepared processed food. Additional work by adults may also affect child weight by reducing parental supervision.

Using panel data obtained from the 1979 cohort of the NLSY and the NLSY Child Supplement, I examine the effects of a change in adults' work hours on their own weight and that of their spouses and children. I find that a rise in work hours increases one’s weight and, to a lesser extent, the weight of one’s spouse. Mothers' ’but not fathers’' work hours affect the weight of children and adolescents. I estimate that changes in employment patterns account for 6% of the rise in adult obesity between 1961 and 2004 and 10% of the increase in overweight children from 1968 to 2001.

Bibliography Citation
Courtemanche, Charles. "Working Yourself to Death? The Relationship Between Work Hours and Obesity." Working Paper, Department of Economics, Washington University - St. Louis, March 19, 2007.
4. Courtemanche, Charles
Heutel, Garth
McAlvanah, Patrick
Impatience, Incentives, and Obesity
NBER Working Paper No. 17483, National Bureau of Economic Research, October 2011.
Also: http://www.nber.org/papers/w17483
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Keyword(s): Body Mass Index (BMI); Obesity; Time Preference

This paper explores the relationship between time preferences, economic incentives, and body mass index (BMI). Using data from the 1979 cohort of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, we first show that greater impatience increases BMI even after controlling for demographic, human capital, and occupational characteristics as well as income and risk preference. Next, we provide evidence of an interaction effect between time preference and food prices, with cheaper food leading to the largest weight gains among those exhibiting the most impatience. The interaction of changing economic incentives with heterogeneous discounting may help explain why increases in BMI have been concentrated amongst the right tail of the distribution, where the health consequences are especially severe. Lastly, we model time-inconsistent preferences by computing individuals ’quasi-hyperbolic discounting parameters (β and δ). Both long-run patience (δ) and present-bias (β) predict BMI, suggesting obesity is partly attributable to rational intertemporal tradeoffs but also partly to time inconsistency.
Bibliography Citation
Courtemanche, Charles, Garth Heutel and Patrick McAlvanah. "Impatience, Incentives, and Obesity." NBER Working Paper No. 17483, National Bureau of Economic Research, October 2011.
5. Courtemanche, Charles
Heutel, Garth
McAlvanah, Patrick
Impatience, Incentives, and Obesity
The Economic Journal 125,582 (February 2015): 1-31.
Also: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ecoj.12124/abstract
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: Royal Economic Society (RES)
Keyword(s): Attitudes; Body Mass Index (BMI); Debt/Borrowing; Health/Health Status/SF-12 Scale; Obesity; Time Preference

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

This paper explores the relationship between time preferences, economic incentives, and body mass index (BMI). We provide evidence of an interaction effect between time preference and food prices, with cheaper food leading to the largest weight gains among those exhibiting the most impatience. The interaction of changing economic incentives with heterogeneous discounting may help explain why increases in BMI have been concentrated amongst the distribution's right tail. We also model time-inconsistent preferences by computing individuals' quasi-hyperbolic discounting parameters. Both long-run patience (δ) and present-bias (β) predict BMI, suggesting obesity is partly attributable to both rational intertemporal tradeoffs and time inconsistency.

This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Bibliography Citation
Courtemanche, Charles, Garth Heutel and Patrick McAlvanah. "Impatience, Incentives, and Obesity." The Economic Journal 125,582 (February 2015): 1-31.
6. Courtemanche, Charles
McAlvanah, Patrick
Impatience, Incentives, and Obesity
Working Paper, Social Science Research Network (SSRN), March 23, 2011.
Also: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1793525
Cohort(s): Children of the NLSY79, NLSY79
Publisher: Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc.
Keyword(s): Body Mass Index (BMI); Obesity; Self-Regulation/Self-Control; Time Inconsistency; Time Preference; Time Use; Weight

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

This paper explores the relationship between time preference, food prices, and body mass index (BMI). We present a model predicting that impatient individuals should both weigh more than patient individuals and experience sharper increases in weight in response to falling food prices. We then provide evidence to support these predictions using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth matched with local food prices from the Council for Community and Economic Research. Our findings suggest that the interaction of changing economic incentives with impatience can help to explain the shift to the right and thickening of the tails of the BMI distribution. Interestingly, we find no evidence of a relationship between time preference and weight loss attempts, suggesting that the observed effect on BMI represents rational inter-temporal substitution rather than self-control problems.
Bibliography Citation
Courtemanche, Charles and Patrick McAlvanah. "Impatience, Incentives, and Obesity." Working Paper, Social Science Research Network (SSRN), March 23, 2011.
7. Courtemanche, Charles
Tchernis, Rusty
Zhou, Xilin
Parental Work Hours and Childhood Obesity: Evidence Using Instrumental Variables Related to Sibling School Eligibility
NBER Working Paper No. 23376, National Bureau of Economic Research, May 2017.
Also: http://www.nber.org/papers/w23376
Cohort(s): Children of the NLSY79, NLSY79, NLSY79 Young Adult
Publisher: National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Keyword(s): Childhood; Maternal Employment; Modeling, Instrumental Variables; Obesity; Parental Influences; School Entry/Readiness; Siblings; Work Hours

This study exploits plausibly exogenous variation from the youngest sibling's school eligibility to estimate the effects of parental work on the weight outcomes of older children in the household. Data come from the 1979 cohort of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth linked to the Child and Young Adult Supplement. We first show that mothers' work hours increase gradually as the age of the youngest child rises, whereas mothers' spouses' work hours exhibit a discontinuous jump at kindergarten eligibility. Leveraging these insights, we develop an instrumental variables model that shows that parents' work hours lead to larger increases in children's BMI z-scores and probabilities of being overweight and obese than those identified in previous studies. We find no evidence that the impacts of maternal and paternal work are different. Subsample analyses find that the effects are concentrated among advantaged households, as measured by an index involving education, race, and mother's marital status.
Bibliography Citation
Courtemanche, Charles, Rusty Tchernis and Xilin Zhou. "Parental Work Hours and Childhood Obesity: Evidence Using Instrumental Variables Related to Sibling School Eligibility." NBER Working Paper No. 23376, National Bureau of Economic Research, May 2017.