Using New Measures of Fatness to Improve Estimates of Early Entry onto the OASI Rolls

Published: 2006
Project ID: UM06-23


Obesity is rapidly rising, as are the medical conditions associated with it. We test whether fatness has a causal impact on early retirement and entry onto OASI rolls using a model of instrumental variables, in which the fatness of a PSID respondent’s child is used as an instrument for the respondent’s fatness.  Our key innovation is that we use a more accurate measure of fatness that is based on Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA).  We test whether fatness, as measured by BIA, predicts early exit from the labor force and entry onto the OASI rolls better than the more commonly-used measure of fatness, Body Mass Index.