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Author: Zhang, Ning
Resulting in 4 citations.
1. Lillard, Dean R.
Zhang, Ning
Does Education Delay the Timing of First Birth?
Presented: New York, NY, Population Association of America Annual Meetings, March 29-31, 2007.
Also: http://paa2007.princeton.edu/abstractViewer.aspx?submissionId=71982
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: Population Association of America
Keyword(s): Age at First Birth; Fertility; First Birth; Mothers, Education; Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID)

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

The secular decline in fertility that has occurred over the last thirty years in both developing and developed economies is often attributed to rising levels of education of women. The decline is partly due to a delay in the timing of first birth. The average age of first birth in the United States has increased from 21.4 in 1970 to 25.1 in 2002 (Centers for Disease Control 2004). Whether education plays a causal role or only is an outcome of other unobserved factors remains an open question. We use exogenous variation in college tuition and residential location to investigate a causal effect of education on the timing of first birth. We use individual fertility and educational data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics and the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 and tuition data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.
Bibliography Citation
Lillard, Dean R. and Ning Zhang. "Does Education Delay the Timing of First Birth?" Presented: New York, NY, Population Association of America Annual Meetings, March 29-31, 2007.
2. Zhang, Ning
Determinants of Children's Health
Ph.D. Dissertation, Cornell University, 2009
Cohort(s): Children of the NLSY79, NLSY79
Publisher: ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT)
Keyword(s): Alcohol Use; Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS); Birth Outcomes; Child Health; Geocoded Data; Obesity; School Entry/Readiness; State-Level Data/Policy; Taxes

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

This dissertation consists of three empirical analyses of determinants of health of children and adolescents. The first essay investigates the causal relationship between education and youth overweight. The second essay examines the relationship between alcohol taxes and infant health. The last one explores whether an older minimum legal drinking age laws improves average health of infants. In the first paper, I use the first-grade entrance policies in a regression discontinuity design to compare years of education and the probability of being overweight among students who are born immediately before and after the school entrance date. Results show that girls who are born a few days after the entrance date are over ten percent more likely to be obese than those who are born just before. This finding shows that, for girls, one more year of education reduces the likelihood of being obese. A possible explanation is that education promotes healthier eating habits among girls. The second paper employs state variations in taxes in investigate the causal relationship between drinking alcohol during pregnancy and birth outcomes. Using data from NLSY79 Children and Young Adults (NLSY79-CY), Natality files and behavioral Risk Factor Surveillances System (BRFSS), this study finds that there is a negative and causal relationship between alcohol taxes and birth outcomes. The last chapter provides empirical evidence on the structural relationship between alcohol use and infant health by exploiting the exogenous variation in alcohol availability laws among youth generated by changes in state minimum legal drinking ages (MLDA). Two effects of the MLDA on infant health are tested: infants born to mothers aged younger than 21 (direct effects) and those to mothers who at early teenage years lived through the era of changes in MLDA (indirect effects). The results show that the MLDA of 18 at the conception year had small and insignificant direct impact, while it had larger and mor e significant indirect effects, on birth outcomes. Behavioral change, rather than compositional shift, contributes the change in infant health outcomes.
Bibliography Citation
Zhang, Ning. Determinants of Children's Health. Ph.D. Dissertation, Cornell University, 2009.
3. Zhang, Ning
Does School Education Reduce Childhood Obesity?
Presented: New York, NY, Population Association of America Annual Meetings, March 29-31, 2007.
Also: http://paa2007.princeton.edu/abstractViewer.aspx?submissionId=71912
Cohort(s): Children of the NLSY79, NLSY79, NLSY97
Publisher: Population Association of America
Keyword(s): Body Mass Index (BMI); Gender Differences; Height; Nutritional Status/Nutrition/Consumption Behaviors; Physical Activity (see also Exercise); School Entry/Readiness; Self-Reporting; Weight

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

This paper exploits state-wide first-grade entry policies to identify the impact of school education on youth obesity. Using the restricted-access data from NLSY79, NLSY97, and Children to NLSY79 Women, I compare children who are born just before the school entrance date and may start school at age of six to those who are born just after. Children born closely prior and post the cutoff dates are nearly identical in terms of all other factors that may affect their body weight and height, suggesting that differences in their probability of being overweight may be causally attributed to differences in the number of school years. I also assess the importance of three channels through which education may affect youth obesity: health knowledge, dietary habits, and physical activities. No theory favors a particular channel, and results demonstrate that their impacts vary with age and grade.
Bibliography Citation
Zhang, Ning. "Does School Education Reduce Childhood Obesity?" Presented: New York, NY, Population Association of America Annual Meetings, March 29-31, 2007.
4. Zhang, Ning
Zhang, Qi
Does Early School Entry Prevent Obesity Among Adolescent Girls?
Journal of Adolescent Health 48,6 (June 2011): 644-646.
Also: http://www.jahonline.org/article/S1054-139X%2810%2900478-7/abstract
Cohort(s): NLSY97
Publisher: Elsevier
Keyword(s): Body Mass Index (BMI); Gender Differences; Height; Nutritional Status/Nutrition/Consumption Behaviors; Physical Activity (see also Exercise); School Entry/Readiness; Self-Reporting; Weight

Purpose: To examine the relationship between early school entry and body weight status among adolescent girls.

Methods: Using nationally representative data from the 1997 cohort of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, we exploited state-specific first-grade entrance policy as a quasi-experimental research design to examine the effect of early school entry on the body weight status of adolescent girls. Fixed-effects models were used to compare the body mass index (BMI), BMI z-score, and likelihood of overweight and obesity between teenage girls born before school cut-off dates and those born after, while controlling for age, race/ethnicity, maternal education status, and maternal body weight status

Results: Late starters had higher BMIs and a higher prevalence of overweight and obesity and the results were found to be consistent across age groups. Among girls whose birthdays were within 1 month of the cut-off dates, the coefficient of late starting was significantly positive (Beta=.311; p=.02), indicating that it might be correlated with weight gain in adolescence.

Conclusions: Early admission to a school environment might have a long-term protective effect in terms of adolescent girls’ propensity to obesity. Future studies are needed to examine the effect of early school entry on the eating behavior and physical activities of adolescent girls.

Bibliography Citation
Zhang, Ning and Qi Zhang. "Does Early School Entry Prevent Obesity Among Adolescent Girls?" Journal of Adolescent Health 48,6 (June 2011): 644-646.