Estimating Peer Effects in Health Outcomes: Replies and Corrections to Fowler and Christakis

9 Pages Posted: 2 Sep 2008 Last revised: 17 Sep 2008

Ethan Cohen-Cole

Econ One Research

Jason M. Fletcher

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs; Yale University - School of Public Health

Date Written: September 1, 2008

Abstract

In this note, we address several issues in the Fowler and Christakis (FC) comment on our JHE paper (CCF). This type of situation is conducive to vigorous academic debate - and we appreciate a number of the points that FC raise about our study. Several points are potentially valid and could benefit from in-depth discussion. However, a second aspect the FC paper is the inclusion of slights that speak both to our professional conduct and competence and move beyond professional debate. We address both the issues raised about our results and further clarify additional aspects of the FC comment. We further note that regardless of the points of dispute between CCF and FC, the FC results should not be thought of as causal because FC provides no empirical solution to the reflection problem.

Keywords: Peer Effects, Obesity

JEL Classification: I10, I12

Suggested Citation

Cohen-Cole, Ethan and Fletcher, Jason M., Estimating Peer Effects in Health Outcomes: Replies and Corrections to Fowler and Christakis (September 1, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1262249 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1262249

Ethan Cohen-Cole

Econ One Research ( email )

United States

Jason M. Fletcher (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs ( email )

1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1393
United States

Yale University - School of Public Health ( email )

PO Box 208034
60 College Street
New Haven, CT 06520-8034
United States

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