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Modelling Social Dynamics (of Obesity) and Thresholds

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Author Info

  • Franz Wirl

    ()
    (University of Vienna, Brnnerstr. 72, Room 123, 1210 Vienna, Austria)

  • Gustav Feichtinger

    (Division for Population Economics, Vienna Institute for Demography, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Wohllebengasse 12-14, 1040 Vienna, Austria)

Abstract

This paper focuses on the dynamic aspects of individual behavior affected by its social embedding, either at large (society-wide norms or averages) or at a local neighborhood. The emphasis is on how initial conditions can affect the long run outcome and to derive, discuss and apply the conditions for such thresholds. For this purpose, intertemporal social pressure (from peers, from norms, or from fashions) is modelled in two different ways: (i) individual benefit is influenced by the possession of a stock (in the application: weight) and the society wide average, and (ii) individual benefits depend on a norm that follows its own motion, of course driven by agents’ behavior. The topical issue of obesity serves as motivation and corresponding models and examples are presented and analyzed.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MDPI, Open Access Journal in its journal Games.

Volume (Year): 1 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 395-414

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Handle: RePEc:gam:jgames:v:1:y:2010:i:4:p:395-414:d:9849

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Related research

Keywords: obesity; history dependence; social interactions;

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References

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  1. Ethan Cohen-Cole & Jason M. Fletcher, 2008. "Is obesity contagious?: social networks vs. environmental factors in the obesity epidemic," Risk and Policy Analysis Unit Working Paper QAU08-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
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Cited by:
  1. Strulik, Holger, 2012. "A Mass Phenomenon: The Social Evolution of Obesity," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-489, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.

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