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A Silver Lining? The Connection Between Gasoline Prices and Obesity

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Author Info

  • Courtemanche, Charles

    ()
    (University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics)

Abstract

I find evidence of a negative association between gasoline prices and body weight using a fixed effects model with several robustness checks. I also show that increases in gas prices are associated with additional walking and a reduction in the frequency with which people eat at restaurants, explaining their effect on weight. My estimates imply that 8% of the rise in obesity between 1979 and 2004 can be attributed to the concurrent drop in real gas prices, and that a permanent $1 increase in gasoline prices would reduce overweight and obesity in the U.S. by 7% and 10%.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 09-1.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 24 Aug 2008
Date of revision: 01 Jan 2009
Handle: RePEc:ris:uncgec:2009_001

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Postal: Box 26165, Greensboro, NC 27402-6165
Phone: (336) 334-5463
Fax: (336) 334-4089
Web page: http://www.uncg.edu/bae/econ/
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Related research

Keywords: Gas price; obesity; body weight; gasoline price; gasoline; transportation; restaurants;

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Cited by:
  1. George Wehby & Charles J. Courtemanche, 2012. "The Heterogeneity of the Cigarette Price Effect on Body Mass Index," NBER Working Papers 18087, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Charles J. Courtemanche & Garth Heutel & Patrick McAlvanah, 2011. "Impatience, Incentives, and Obesity," NBER Working Papers 17483, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Boyd-Swan, Casey & Herbst, Chris M., 2012. "Pain at the pump: Gasoline prices and subjective well-being," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 160-175.

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