Despite the growing body of evidence featured on this blog and elsewhere, and the near consensus of the recreationally vegan-economist community, there still remains a small body of skeptics who deny the positive effect of the vegan diet on human health. This post presents research conducted by the Recreational Vegan’s Quantitative Strategies Branch (QSB) in an attempt to further promulgate the scientific truth. This is done by quantifying the effect of veganism on health using the tools of econometrics.
A random sample consisting of 8 observations on individuals’ percent veganism and number of sick days in 2006 was collected. To counter a possible error in variables problem due to individuals reporting inaccurate measures of their veganism, a detailed schedule of veganism levels was supplied to survey respondents. As shown in the following table, there is substantial variation in the sample.
|Percent Veganism||Sick Days|
The following regression was performed using ordinary least squares
SickDaysi = β0 + β1 · PercentVegani + εi
where i indexes individuals. The results are shown in the table below. The R-squared is 0.76 and a White test does not reject the null of homoskedasticity, indicating that there are no obvious specification errors. It would be possible to include more variables, such as dummy variables for gender or parenthood. However, these factors are unlikely to be correlated with percent veganism and as a result leaving them out will not cause an omitted variable bias.
Veganism has the expected sign and is significant at the 1% level. The results suggest that increasing veganism by 10 percentage points will reduce the number of sick days per year by 0.7. This has clear policy implications, suggesting that employers should offer incentives to employees to increase their veganism levels, possibly by offering free vegan lunches.