Decomposing Body Mass Index Gaps between Mediterranean Countries: A Counterfactual Quantile Regression Analysis

43 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2008

See all articles by Joan Costa-Font

Joan Costa-Font

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Daniele Fabbri

University of Bologna - Department of Economics

Joan Gil

University of Barcelona

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 1, 2008

Abstract

Wide cross-country variation in obesity rates have been reported within European Union member states. However, health production determinants for these differences have been largely overlooked in the health economics literature. In this paper we propose a methodology for conducting standardized cross-country comparisons in BMI. The method we adopt is based on the estimation of the marginal density function of BMI in a given country implied by different counterfactual distributions of all the covariates included within a quantile regression framework. We apply our method to the analysis of the variation in BMI distribution in Spain with respect to Italy in the year 2003. Our findings suggest that Spain-to-Italy BMI gaps are largely explained by cross-country variation in the returns to each health input. Therefore, there appear to be differences in the country-specific behavioural responses to the caloric (im)balance.

Keywords: BMI, country weight gap, quantile regression, counterfactual decomposition, Mediterranean countries, Italy, Spain

JEL Classification: I18, J15, J16

Suggested Citation

Costa-Font, Joan and Fabbri, Daniele and Gil, Joan, Decomposing Body Mass Index Gaps between Mediterranean Countries: A Counterfactual Quantile Regression Analysis (February 1, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1098229 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1098229

Joan Costa-Font (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://joancostaifont.org/

Daniele Fabbri

University of Bologna - Department of Economics ( email )

Piazza Scaravilli 2
Bologna, 40126
Italy

Joan Gil

University of Barcelona ( email )

Department of Economic Theory
Faculty of Economics
Barcelona, Barcelona 08034
Spain

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