Education and Health

Data Appendix

DHS Surveys

The authors selected 31 countries with either a DHS-IV or a DHS-V survey that includes data on a woman’s anthropometry (height and weight), education level, and her drinking or smoking habits. All surveys contain nationally representative samples of ever-married women between the ages of 15 and 49 years.

Height is the respondent’s height in centimeters. BMI is computed as weight (in kilos) divided by height (in meters) squared. Underweight is equal to 1 if the person’s BMIr18.5; obese is equal to 1 if the person’s BMIZ30. Anemia is coded 1 if the person is anemic at all, irrespective of the level of anemia (slight, moderate, and severe). Hemoglobin is the individual’s hemoglobin level in g/dl adjusted for altitude. Anemia and hemoglobin were considered unknown if hemoglobin levels were less than 5 or greater than 50. If the adjusted hemoglobin level was not available, the unadjusted level was used. Smoke is coded 1 if the individual has currently smoked, 0 if not. STI is equal to 1 if the individual had a STI in the past 12 months. Drink is a binary variable if the individual has ever or recently consumed alcohol (this varies by country).

Regressions control for age, age2, education, married, religion dummies, and ethnicity dummies. Age and education are measured in years. Religion and ethnicity dummies are country specific. Marital status is 1 if the woman is married or living with a partner as if married, and 0 otherwise. All means and regression coefficients were computed taking survey design into account, unless strata or sample weights were not provided by the survey.

Eurobarometer Data

Our European data are drawn from two waves of the Standard Eurobarometer. Women’s anthropometry (height, weight, BMI, and probability of being underweight or obese) are drawn from Eurobarometer 64.3, which was collected in November–December 2005. All other outcome variables of interest (alcohol consumption, smoking, physical activity and sport, and fruit consumption) are drawn from Eurobarometer 72.3, which was collected in October 2009. Both surveys contain nationally representative samples of women between the ages of 15 and 49 years in 29 European countries.

Height is the respondent’s height in centimeters. BMI is computed as weight (in kilograms) divided by height (in meters) squared. Underweight is equal to 1 if the respondent’s BMI≤18.5; obese is equal to 1 if the respondent’s BMI≥30. Currently, smokes is equal to 1 if the respondent currently smokes, and is 0 otherwise; consumed alcohol in past year is equal to 1 if the respondent has consumed any alcoholic beverages in the past 12 months.

Regressions control for age, age2, education level, and marital status. Age is measured in years. Marital status is 1 if the woman is married or living with a partner, and 0 otherwise. Education level is the age at which the respondent left school, in years. All means and regression coefficients were computed using the post stratification weights provided with the surveys.

Behavioral And Risk Factors Survey For The United States

For the US, the authors use the 2005 wave of the Behavioral and Risk Factor survey, which contains height, weight, drinking, and smoking. Only women of ages 15–49 years are included.

Height is the respondent’s height in centimeters. BMI is computed as weight (in kilograms) divided by height (in meters) squared. Underweight is equal to 1 if the respondent’s BMI≤18.5; obese is equal to 1 if the respondent’s BMI≥30. Currently, smokes is equal to 1 if the respondent currently smokes, and is 0 otherwise. A person is said to drink if they drank any alcohol in the past 30 days.

Regressions control for age, age2, education level, and marital status. Age is measured in years. Marital status is 1 if the woman is married or living with a partner, and 0 otherwise. Education level is measured in years of school. Race and ethnicity dummies are included. All means and regression coefficients were computed using the poststratification weights provided with the surveys.

GDP Data

The GDP per capita data come from the World Bank, using the GDP per capita (current US$) indicator. When the data set comes from a survey taken over multiple years, the GDP per capita figure is the mean during that period.

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