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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Essays on the determinants and consequences of physical activity
by Wang, Jin, Ph.D., City University of New York, 2013, 95; 3561657
Abstract (Summary)

The first essay focuses on the economic determinants of physical activity. Physical activity can be decomposed by intensity and duration. The intensity of physical activity is defined by total energy consumed on all physical activities divided by total hours. The intensity of an activity is measured by its metabolic equivalent (MET) value per hour. One MET is defined as the energy expended to lie or sit quietly. One novel aspect of the study is an investigation of the hypothesis that, because their time is more valuable, higher wage individuals may choose to exercise more intensively but for shorter durations. That hypothesis and others are explored in the context of fully specified demand functions for the duration and intensity of activities performed in the market and nonmarket sectors. The instrumental variable method is adopted to estimate the demand functions in which the endogenous variable leisure physical activity is included. Econometric issues related to omitted variable bias and selection bias are addressed as part of the empirical investigation.

The second essay investigates to what extent physical activity influences health status. To study the heterogeneous effects of physical activity on dichotomous health outcome for three groups of people, the analyses of three stratifications are conducted for education, occupation, and physical activity intensity. Probit (ordered probit) models are utilized to address the research question. I find that for less educated or white collar workers, a rise in average physical intensity increases the probability of reporting very good or excellent health, while longer time spent on physical activity may benefit health for highly educated workers.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Grossman, Michael
Commitee: Kelly, Inas Rashad, Vijverberg, Wim P.M.
School: City University of New York
Department: Economics
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 74/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Economics
Keywords: Health demands, Physical activity duration, Physical activity intensity, Prevention
Publication Number: 3561657
ISBN: 978-1-303-08866-7
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