Prices and Health: Identifying the Effects of Nutrition, Exercise, and Medication Choices on Blood Pressure
Posted: 6 Jan 2003
Biomedical studies suggest that a person's behavior matters to health, but these studies usually treat human choice as exogenous. This study shows that individual choices on nutrient intake, exercise, and use of medication are influenced by exogenous food prices, wages, and non-labor income. Using these exogenous variables as instruments for endogenous behavior makes a big difference in the estimated impact of nutrient intake, exercise, and medication on blood pressure. For example, application of instrumental variables methods changes the impact of sodium on blood pressure from positive to negative and significant.
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