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The macroeconomics of obesity


Author Info

  • Pere Gomis Porqueras
  • Adrian Peralta-Alva

    (Department of Economics University of Miami)


The weight of the average American adult male and female has increased by 16 and 14 pounds respectively and obesity rates have doubled since the early 1960s. Recent studies show these changes in weight can be attributed to the dramatic rise in the consumption of food away from home. We investigate the role of taxes and the gender wage gap in accounting for the trends in the composition of food consumed by the average American adult. According to our general equilibrium analysis, the observed movements in the personal income tax rate and in the gender wage gap explain the increase in the caloric intake from the consumption of food away from home. Our theory is also consistent with the patterns of time use on market activities, food preparation, and capital specific for cooking activities of Americans

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2006 Meeting Papers with number 687.

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Date of creation: 03 Dec 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:red:sed006:687

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Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Christian Zimmermann Economic Research Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis PO Box 442 St. Louis MO 63166-0442 USA
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Keywords: Gender Wage gap and Obesity;

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Cited by:
  1. Chang, Tangel & Barrett, James M. & Vosti, Stephen A., 2006. "The Physical, Social, and Cultural Determinants of Obesity: An Empirical Study of the U.S," 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia 25279, International Association of Agricultural Economists.


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