Elaine M. Liu

Professor, Department of Economics, University of Houston

Ph.D. in Economics, Princeton University

NBER, Research Associate; IZA, Research Fellow

Associate Editor, Journal of Health Economics and Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization



Relative Obesity and the Formation of Non-cognitive Abilities During Adolescence (With Wei Huang and C. Andrew Zuppann) Accepted at the Journal of Human Resources

We study the role of relative childhood and adolescent obesity in the development of noncognitive abilities. We employ a novel identification strategy, utilizing the fact that one's body size is a relative concept and there are large variations in body sizes across MSAs. We focus on children who move between MSAs. Controlling for origin-destination state pair fixed effects, we find that a 10 percentile point increase in relative body size would increase behavioral problems by 2 percentile points. This effect is of a similar magnitude to a two-year reduction in maternal education.