Burn Calories, Not Fuel! The effects of bikeshare programs on obesity rates

More than 50 bikeshare programs have been launched in the U.S. since 2010. In this paper, the author estimates the effects of bikeshare programs on the prevalence of obesity at the county level. To do so, the author merges bikeshare system data with obesity data released by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and construct a county-level panel covering the period of 2007–2013. The author employs a difference-in-differences empirical framework, in which the author compares the obesity rate before and after the introduction of the bikeshare programs in counties that have ever launched bikeshare programs, and use counties that have never introduced bikeshare programs as the control group. Difference-in-differences estimates suggest the significant public health effect of bikeshare programs: the introduction of the bikeshare programs leads to moderate declines in obesity rates; a possible mechanism is its impacts on leisure-time physical activities. The author also conducts various additional tests to check the robustness of the above findings. These tests show that the conclusion of this paper is robust to changes to samples and empirical models.


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01687799
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 6 2018 5:23PM