Sleeping together: Network effects and sleep duration
Xiaodong Liu, Eleonora Patacchini, Edoardo Rainone 28 January 2014
Sleep is a key determinant of educational attainment among young adults, and carries with it longstanding health implications. This column provides evidence of network effects in adolescent sleeping decisions using a novel econometric approach. Young adults respond to the sleeping behaviour of their peer group, holding constant other observables. This compounding effect suggests a group approach to solving behavioural problems associated with sleep deprivation.
Nearly a third of a person's life is spent in slumber. In the US those with insomnia spend about $1 billion a year on prescription sleep aids, and another $1 billion on over-the-counter sleep medications (Yaniv 2004). The economic costs of sleep disorders in the US in 2004, both direct (expenditure within the health system) and indirect (absenteeism, low productivity, and work-related injuries), was estimated to be $109 billion (Hillman at el. 2006).
Education Health economics
network effects, peer groups, sleep