EEEP Seminar Series: Yanhong Jin (Rutgers)

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Yanhong Jin, Ph.D., Professor in the Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics and Graduate Faculty in the Department of Economics at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, will present the EEEP Seminar Series, “Intergenerational Mobility and Childhood Obesity: Evidence from Genes” on February 21, 2024.

Abstract: Yanhong Jin estimates the impact of childhood obesity on intergenerational income and social mobility in the US. Utilizing the polygenic scores of Add Health participants, she proposes a novel instrument variable for childhood obesity based on genetic information related to weight status. She finds strong evidence that childhood obesity lowers intergenerational income and social mobility of adult children. Yanhong examines the mechanisms that help explain the effects of childhood obesity on mobility and demonstrates that childhood obesity negatively affects adulthood income, health, education outcomes, weight stigma, and job opportunities. The results suggest that policies for preventing and reducing childhood obesity may have far-reaching benefits by improving socioeconomic mobility and equality. The study also reinforces the validity of using genetic information to identify and quantify causality in economics.

Speaker Bio: Yanhong Jin received her Ph.D. degree from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California, Berkeley. Currently, she is a full professor in the Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics and a graduate faculty in the Department of Economics at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Dr. Jin’s research interests include agricultural economics, health economics and policy, food economics, technology adoption and impacts, and development economics. She has published in top field economics journals, such as American Journal of Agricultural Economics and American Journal of Health Economics. Dr. Jin is recognized as a supportive advisor and mentor for doctoral, master, and undergraduate students.


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