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The Rise in Obesity across the Atlantic: An Economic Perspective

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Author Info

  • Brunello, Giorgio

    ()
    (University of Padova)

  • Michaud, Pierre-Carl

    ()
    (University of Québec at Montréal)

  • Sanz-de-Galdeano, Anna

    ()
    (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

Abstract

We provide comparable evidence on the patterns and trends in obesity across the Atlantic and analyse whether there are economic rationales for public intervention to control obesity. We take into account equity issues as well as efficiency considerations, which are organized around three categories of market failures: productive inefficiencies, lack of information or rationality and health insurance externalities. We also calculate the long term financial consequences of current US and European obesity trends, and conclude with a brief review of current policies to reduce and prevent excessive body weight both in Europe and the US.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3529.

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Length: 68 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economic Policy, 2009, 24 (59), 551-596
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3529

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Keywords: equity; efficiency; health care costs; obesity;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Todeschini, F.; & Labeaga, J.; & Jiménez-Martín, S.;, 2010. "Death by lung cancer or by diabetes? The unintended consequences of quitting smoking," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 10/16, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  2. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald & Bert Van Landeghem, 2008. "Imitative Obesity and Relative Utility," NBER Working Papers 14337, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Eduardo Rodríguez Oreggia & Ana Bertha Pérez Lizaur, 2010. "Factores de dinámica social asociados al índice de masa corporal en adultos en México," Estudios Económicos, El Colegio de México, Centro de Estudios Económicos, vol. 25(2), pages 337-362.
  4. Lundborg, Petter & Nystedt, Paul & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2010. "No Country for Fat Men? Obesity, Earnings, Skills, and Health among 450,000 Swedish Men," IZA Discussion Papers 4775, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Costa-Font, Joan & Fabbri, Daniele & Gil, Joan, 2009. "Decomposing body mass index gaps between Mediterranean countries: A counterfactual quantile regression analysis," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 351-365, December.
  6. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2009. "Grazing, Goods and Girth: Determinants and Effects," NBER Working Papers 15277, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Tomer, John F., 2013. "Stemming the tide of obesity: What needs to happen," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 88-98.

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