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The public finance of healthy behavior

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  • Robert Rosenman

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Abstract

Lifestyle can often affect the likelihood an individual will have a future illness. Subsidies often mitigate the consequences of poor lifestyle choices. In this paper we explore tax-subsidy policies that lower the consequences of incurring a non-infectious disease. We find that a funding mechanism consistent with current US policy lowers the investment in healthy lifestyles by both the wealthy, who pay taxes, and the poor, who receive subsidies. We also explore alternative policy interventions such as investing in research to lessen the impact or probability of the disease if an individual gets sick.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11127-010-9611-z
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.

Volume (Year): 147 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
Pages: 173-188

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Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:147:y:2011:i:1:p:173-188

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100332

Related research

Keywords: Lifestyle; Health; Policy; Taxes; Subsidies; I1; H2; H4;

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References

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  1. Christophe Courbage & Augustin de Coulon, 2004. "Prevention and Private Health Insurance in the U.K," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance, The International Association for the Study of Insurance Economics, vol. 29(4), pages 719-727, October.
  2. R. Glenn Hubbard & Jonathan Skinner & Stephen P. Zeldes, 1994. "Precautionary Saving and Social Insurance," NBER Working Papers 4884, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Liljas, Bengt, 1998. "The demand for health with uncertainty and insurance," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 153-170, April.
  4. Samuel H. Preston & Jessica Y. Ho, 2009. "Low Life Expectancy in the United States: Is the Health Care System at Fault?," NBER Working Papers 15213, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy, 1986. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 41, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  6. Julie Lee & Mark McClellan & Jonathan Skinner, 1999. "The Distributional Effects of Medicare," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, volume 13, pages 85-108 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Picone, Gabriel & Uribe, Martin & Mark Wilson, R., 1998. "The effect of uncertainty on the demand for medical care, health capital and wealth," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 171-185, April.
  8. Jay Bhattacharya & M. Kate Bundorf & Noemi Pace & Neeraj Sood, 2011. "Does Health Insurance Make You Fat?," NBER Chapters, in: Economic Aspects of Obesity, pages 35-64 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-55, March-Apr.
  10. Mark McClellan & Jonathan Skinner, 1997. "The Incidence of Medicare," NBER Working Papers 6013, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. David M. Cutler, 2008. "Are We Finally Winning the War on Cancer?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(4), pages 3-26, Fall.
  12. Komlos, John & Smith, Patricia K. & Bogin, Barry, 2003. "Obesity and the Rate of Time Preference: Is there a Connection?," Discussion Papers in Economics 60, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  13. Christophe Courbage & Augustin de Coulon, 2004. "Prevention and Private Health Insurance in the U.K," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 29(4), pages 719-727, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Lawless, Lydia J.R. & Nayga, Rodolfo & Drichoutis, Andreas, 2013. "Time preference and health behaviour: A review," MPRA Paper 45382, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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