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The Impact of Income on the Weight of Elderly Americans.

June 2008

John Cawley, John Moran, Kosali Simon

Download 'working_paper08-08.pdf'.


This paper tests whether income affects the body weight and clinical weight classification of elderly Americans using a natural experiment that led otherwise identical retirees to receive significantly different Social Security payments based on their year of birth. We exploit this natural experiment by estimating models of instrumental variables using data from the National Health Interview Surveys. The model estimates rule out even moderate effects of income on weight and on the probability of being underweight or obese, especially for men.

Health, Health Insurance, and Health Care, Social Welfare Programs and Policies