Department of Economics
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
Institutional Affiliation: Northeastern University
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|August 2015||When Incentives Backfire: Spillover Effects in Food Choice|
with , , : w21481
How do peers influence the impact of incentives? Despite much work on incentives, little is known about the spillover effects of incentives. We investigate two mechanisms by which these effects can occur: through peers' actions and peers' incentives. In a field experiment on snack choice (grapes versus cookies), we randomize who receives incentives, the fraction of peers incentivized, and whether or not it can be observed that peers' choices are incentivized among over 1,500 children in the school lunchroom. Incentives increase the likelihood of initially choosing grapes. However, peer spillover effects can be large enough to undo these positive effects.
Published: Incentives and Unintended Consequences: Spillover Effects in Food Choice
|August 2013||The Importance of Parental Knowledge and Social Norms: Evidence from Weight Report Cards in Mexico|
with : w19344
The rise of childhood obesity in less developed countries is often overlooked. We study the impact of body weight report cards in Mexico. The report cards increased parental knowledge and shifted parental attitudes about children's weight. We observe no meaningful changes in parental behaviors or children's body mass index. Interestingly, parents of children in the most obese classrooms were less likely to report that their obese child weighed too much relative to those in the least obese classrooms. As obesity rates increase, reference points for appropriate body weights may rise, making it more difficult to lower obesity rates.
Published: Journal of Health Economics Volume 37, September 2014, Pages 232–247 Cover image The importance of parental knowledge: Evidence from weight report cards in Mexico ☆ Silvia Prinaa, , Heather Royerb, ,