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Nudging parental health behavior with and without children's pestering power: Fat tax, subsidy or both?

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  • Papoutsi, Georgia
  • Nayga, Rodolfo
  • Lazaridis, Panagiotis
  • Drichoutis, Andreas

Abstract

Using a discrete choice experiment with real economic incentives, this paper studies one of the most well-known governmental mechanisms of nudging consumers towards a healthier way of eating, namely food fiscal policies. The experimental design varies food prices of healthier and unhealthier alternatives of food products for children as part of specific food fiscal policies. We also examine the interplay of children’s pestering power as well as information about the fiscal policies. Results from our lab experiment suggest that (a) implementing a fat tax and a subsidy simultaneously can nudge parents to choose healthier food products, (b) that providing information regarding the food fiscal policies in place can further increase the impact of the intervention, and (c) kid’s pestering power is one of the causes of the policies’ moderate effectiveness as it strongly affects parents in making unhealthier choices.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 52324.

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Date of creation: 17 Dec 2013
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:52324

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Keywords: Choice experiment; Fat tax; Subsidy; Information; Pestering power;

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References

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  1. Dana Goldman & Darius Lakdawalla & Yuhui Zheng, 2011. "Food Prices and the Dynamics of Body Weight," NBER Chapters, in: Economic Aspects of Obesity, pages 65-90 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Salois, Matthew J. & Tiffin, J. Richard, 2010. "The Health Effects Of A Fiscal Food Policy," 115th Joint EAAE/AAEA Seminar, September 15-17, 2010, Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany 116394, European Association of Agricultural Economists & Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  3. Luca Pieroni & Donatella Lanari & Luca Salmasi, 2010. "Food Prices and Overweight Patterns in Italy," EERI Research Paper Series EERI_RP_2010_40, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
  4. Gregory Lewis, 2011. "Asymmetric Information, Adverse Selection and Online Disclosure: The Case of eBay Motors," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1535-46, June.
  5. Jason Fletcher & David Frisvold & Nathan Tefft, 2009. "The Effects of Soft Drink Taxes on Child and Adolescent Consumption and Weight Outcomes," Emory Economics 0908, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  6. Alfnes, Frode & Guttormsen, Atle G. & Steine, Gro & Kolstad, Kari, 2005. "Consumers' Willingness To Pay For The Color Of Salmon:A Choice Experiment With Real Economic Incentives," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19126, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  7. Jason M. Fletcher & David Frisvold & Nathan Tefft, 2008. "Can Soft Drink Taxes Reduce Population Weight?," Emory Economics 0808, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  8. Ashraf, Nava & Jack, B. Kelsey & Kamenica, Emir, 2013. "Information and subsidies: Complements or substitutes?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 133-139.
  9. Daniel McFadden & Kenneth Train, 2000. "Mixed MNL models for discrete response," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(5), pages 447-470.
  10. Gro Steine & Kari Kolstad, 2006. "Consumers' Willingness to Pay for the Color of Salmon: A Choice Experiment with Real Economic Incentives," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 88(4), pages 1050-1061.
  11. Smith, Travis A. & Biing-Hwan, Lin & Lee, Jonq-Ying, 2010. "Taxing Caloric Sweetened Beverages: Potential Effects on Beverage Consumption, Calorie Intake, and Obesity," Economic Research Report 95465, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  12. Salois, Matthew J. & Tiffin, J. Richard, 2011. "The Impacts of Fat Taxes and Thin Subsidies on Nutrient Intakes," 85th Annual Conference, April 18-20, 2011, Warwick University, Coventry, UK 108789, Agricultural Economics Society.
  13. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
  14. Dong, Diansheng & Lin, Biing-Hwan, 2009. "Fruit and Vegetable Consumption by Low-Income Americans: Would a Price Reduction Make a Difference?," Economic Research Report 55835, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  15. Schroeter, Christiane & Lusk, Jayson & Tyner, Wallace, 2008. "Determining the impact of food price and income changes on body weight," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 45-68, January.
  16. David Hensher & William Greene, 2003. "The Mixed Logit model: The state of practice," Transportation, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 133-176, May.
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