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Framing Obesity in Economic Theory and Policy

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  • Mann, Stefan

Abstract

While obesity is a growing problem that entails considerable costs, its causes for individuals are not yet well understood in economic terms. Three explanatory approaches are explored: obesity as a rational decision pursued by the individual, obesity as a problem of too little information and obesity as the result of a weak will. While the recent rise in obesity can be explained rationally by a changed environment, information deficiencies and akrasia contribute to explaining its frequency. If the state intervenes, a fat tax carries much higher allocative losses than taxing overweight directly.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Association of Agricultural Economists in its series 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia with number 25619.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae06:25619

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Keywords: Welfare economics; second-order preferences; health economics; Health Economics and Policy;

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Cited by:
  1. Eleftheriou, Konstantinos & Athanasiou, George, 2010. "Labour Market, Obesity and Public Policy Considerations," MPRA Paper 20926, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Brennan, Andrew John, 2013. "A critique of the perceived solid conceptual foundations of ISEW & GPI — Irving Fisher's cognisance of human-health capital in ‘net psychic income’," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 159-166.
  3. Sodano, Valeria & Verneau, Fabio, 1. "The Many Faces Of Food Sustainability: The Obesity Issue," Politica Agricola Internazionale - International Agricultural Policy, Edizioni L’Informatore Agrario, issue 1.
  4. Jon D. Wisman & Kevin Capehart, 2009. "Creative Destruction, Economic Insecurity, Stress and Epidemic Obesity," Working Papers 2009-13 JEL classificatio, American University, Department of Economics.

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