A Macroeconomic Analysis of Obesity in the U.S
AbstractWe perform a dynamic general equilibrium analysis of the observed increase in the average weight of American adults during the last 40 years. Data suggests that this increase in weight can be attributed to a dramatic rise in the consumption of foods prepared away from home, which resulted in higher caloric intake. We study the quantitative implications of two different hypotheses that may help explain the increased consumption of foods prepared away from home: technological advancements in the production of processed food that lowered its price, and higher opportunity cost of cooking at home driven by lower taxes and gender wage gap. According to our model, actual trends in the gender wage gap and income taxes alone can account for almost all of the observed changes in calorie consumption, expenditure in food away from home, ingredients for cooking at home, consumption of non-food items, investment, and GDP. When taxes and the gender wage gap are held constant, technological advancements in the production of foods prepared away from home can only account for half of the food expenditure patterns in the data, and deliver counterfactual implications for key macroeconomic variables.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Miami, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 0606.
Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: 01 Feb 2005
Date of revision: 30 Aug 2007
Publication status: Forthcoming: Under Review
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Web page: http://www.bus.miami.edu/faculty-and-research/academic-departments/economics/index.html
More information through EDIRC
Taxes; Gender Wage Gap; Female Labor Participation; Obesity.;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
- E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
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