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Health Recommendations and Selection in Health Behaviors†

Health Recommendations and Selection in Health Behaviors† AbstractConsider a case in which a new research finding links a health behavior with good health outcomes. A possible consequence is take-up of this behavior among individuals who engage in other positive health behaviors. If this occurs, later analyses of observational data may be biased by the change in selection. This paper evaluates these dynamic biases in empirical settings. Using data from vitamin supplementation and diet, I show that selection responds endogenously to health recommendations. These results highlight how spurious findings on health behaviors can be self-reinforcing. (JEL I12) http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Economic Review: Insights American Economic Association

Health Recommendations and Selection in Health Behaviors†

American Economic Review: Insights , Volume 2 (2) – Jun 1, 2020

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Publisher
American Economic Association
Copyright
Copyright © 2020 © American Economic Association
ISSN
2640-205X
eISSN
2640-2068
DOI
10.1257/aeri.20190355
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractConsider a case in which a new research finding links a health behavior with good health outcomes. A possible consequence is take-up of this behavior among individuals who engage in other positive health behaviors. If this occurs, later analyses of observational data may be biased by the change in selection. This paper evaluates these dynamic biases in empirical settings. Using data from vitamin supplementation and diet, I show that selection responds endogenously to health recommendations. These results highlight how spurious findings on health behaviors can be self-reinforcing. (JEL I12)

Journal

American Economic Review: InsightsAmerican Economic Association

Published: Jun 1, 2020

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