Non-monotonic health behaviours - implications for individual health-related behaviour in a demand-for-health framework
AbstractA number of behaviours influence health in a non-monotonic way. Physical activity and alcohol consumption, for instance, may be beneficial to one’s health in moderate but detrimental in large quantities. We develop a demand-for-health framework that incorporates the feature of a physiologically optimal level. An individual may still choose a physiologically non-optimal level, because of the trade-off in his or her preferences for health versus other utility-affecting commodities. However, any deviation from the physiologically optimal level will be punished with respect to health. A set of steady-state comparative statics is derived regarding the effects on the demand for health and health-related behaviour, indicating that individuals will react differently to exogenous changes, depending on the amount of the health-related behaviour they demand. We also show (a) that a steady-state equilibrium is a saddle-point and (b) that the physiologically optimal level may be a steady-state equilibrium for the individual. Our analysis suggests that general public-health policies may, to some extent, be counterproductive due to the responses induced in parts of the population.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 588.
Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 27 Mar 2014
Date of revision:
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Postal: Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Box 640, SE 405 30 GÖTEBORG, Sweden
Phone: 031-773 10 00
Web page: http://www.handels.gu.se/econ/
More information through EDIRC
human capital; Grossman model; non-monotonic health investments; health; steadystate and stable equilibria;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Production
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2014-04-11 (All new papers)
- NEP-GER-2014-04-11 (German Papers)
- NEP-HEA-2014-04-11 (Health Economics)
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