Michael Grossman

Distinguished Professor of Economics

Ph.D. Program in Economics, City University of New York Graduate Center; and National Bureau of Economic Research

NLS user since 1999

  • Chou, S.-Y., Rashad, I. & Grossman, M. (2008). “Fast-Food Restaurant Advertising on Television and Its Influence on Childhood Obesity.” Journal of Law and Economics 51 (4): 599-618.
  • Saffer, H., Dave, D. & Grossman, M. (forthcoming). “Behavioral Economics and the Demand for Alcohol: Results from the NLSY97.” Health Economics
What I learned from NLS data

In one study, I used the NLSY79 Child–Young Adult and the NLSY97 to estimate the effects of television fast food restaurant advertising on children and adolescents with respect to being overweight. A ban on these advertisements would reduce the number of overweight children ages 3–11 in a fixed population by 18 percent and would reduce the number of overweight adolescents ages 12–18 by 14 percent. The elimination of the tax deductibility of this type of advertising would produce smaller declines of between 5 and 7 percent in these outcomes but would impose lower costs on children and adults who consume fast food in moderation because positive information about restaurants that supply this type of food would not be completely banned from television.

In another study, I used the NLSY97 to examine the responsiveness of heavy, moderate, and light consumers of alcohol to advertising of that product. I find that heavy drinkers are the most sensitive to ads. The key conclusions are that restrictions on advertising are targeted at heavy drinkers and are an underutilized alcohol control policy.

Why I chose NLS data

The NLS had great measures of the behaviors of interest to me. Moreover, the ability to add county-level variables to the data was of extreme value in my research