Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Does Money Burn Fat? – Evidence from a Randomized Experiment

Contents:

Author Info

  • Boris Augurzky
  • Thomas K. Bauer
  • Arndt R. Reichert

    ()

  • Christoph M. Schmidt
  • Harald Tauchmann

Abstract

We test whether financial incentives have an effect on weight reduction in a randomized controlled trial involving 700 obese persons assigned to three experimental groups. While two treatment groups obtain Euro150 and Euro300, respectively, for achieving an individually assigned target weight within four months, a control group receives no such premium. The results indicate that the weight losses for the treatment groups are 2.6 and 2.9 percentage points higher than that achieved by the control group, raising the average total weight loss for the incentivized groups to 5 percent of the initial weight. This percentage is typically regarded as a threshold to improve the health status of the obese. Further evidence indeed indicates some health improvements. The higher reward causes only the group of obese women to lose more weight. Overall, the results suggest that financial incentives can motivate people to lose weight significantly.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://repec.rwi-essen.de/files/REP_12_368.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen in its series Ruhr Economic Papers with number 0368.

as in new window
Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rwi:repape:0368

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Hohenzollernstraße 1-3, 45128 Essen
Phone: (0201)8149-0
Fax: (0201)8149-200
Email:
Web page: http://www.rwi-essen.de/
More information through EDIRC

Order Information:
Web: http://www.rwi-essen.de/publikationen/

Related research

Keywords: Randomized experiment; financial incentives for weight loss; obesity; nonrandom sample attrition; effect heterogeneity;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. John Cawley & Joshua A. Price, 2009. "Outcomes in a Program that Offers Financial Rewards for Weight Loss," NBER Working Papers 14987, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Spenkuch, Jörg L., 2012. "Moral hazard and selection among the poor: Evidence from a randomized experiment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 72-85.
  3. Matthew Rabin & Ted O'Donoghue, 1999. "Doing It Now or Later," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 103-124, March.
  4. Charles L. Baum & William F. Ford, 2004. "The wage effects of obesity: a longitudinal study," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(9), pages 885-899.
  5. James Heckman & Jeffrey Smith & Christopher Taber, 1998. "Accounting For Dropouts In Evaluations Of Social Programs," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(1), pages 1-14, February.
  6. Oswald, Andrew J. & Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2007. "Obesity, Unhappiness, and The Challenge of Affluence: Theory and Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 2717, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. David S. Lee, 2009. "Training, Wages, and Sample Selection: Estimating Sharp Bounds on Treatment Effects," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(3), pages 1071-1102.
  8. Morris, Stephen, 2007. "The impact of obesity on employment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 413-433, June.
  9. Van de Ven, Wynand P. M. M. & Van Praag, Bernard M. S., 1981. "The demand for deductibles in private health insurance : A probit model with sample selection," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 229-252, November.
  10. Tauchmann, Harald & Reichert, Arndt, 2013. "When Outcome Heterogeneously matters for Selection: a Generalized Selection Correction Estimator," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79698, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  11. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2012. "Understanding overeating and obesity," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 781-796.
  12. Alfredo R. Paloyo & Arndt Rüdiger Reichert & Holger Reinermann & Harald Tauchmann, 2011. "The Causal Link Between Financial Incentives and Weight Loss – An Evidence-based Survey of the Literature," Ruhr Economic Papers 0290, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  13. Euna Han & Edward C. Norton & Sally C. Stearns, 2009. "Weight and wages: fat versus lean paychecks," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(5), pages 535-548.
  14. Stefano DellaVigna & Ulrike Malmendier, 2006. "Paying Not to Go to the Gym," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 694-719, June.
  15. Jay Bhattacharya & Neeraj Sood, 2011. "Who Pays for Obesity?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(1), pages 139-58, Winter.
  16. Morris, Stephen, 2006. "Body mass index and occupational attainment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 347-364, March.
  17. Joshua Angrist & Victor Lavy, 2009. "The Effects of High Stakes High School Achievement Awards: Evidence from a Randomized Trial," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1384-1414, September.
  18. James J. Heckman, 1976. "The Common Structure of Statistical Models of Truncation, Sample Selection and Limited Dependent Variables and a Simple Estimator for Such Models," NBER Chapters, in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 5, number 4, pages 475-492 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Forste, Renata & Moore, Erin, 2012. "Adolescent obesity and life satisfaction: Perceptions of self, peers, family, and school," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 385-394.
  20. Ikeda, Shinsuke & Kang, Myong-Il & Ohtake, Fumio, 2010. "Hyperbolic discounting, the sign effect, and the body mass index," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 268-284, March.
  21. Jay Bhattacharya & Neeraj Sood, 2005. "Health Insurance and the Obesity Externality," NBER Working Papers 11529, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Boris Augurzky & Arndt Reichert & Christoph M. Schmidt, 2012. "The Effect of a Bonus Program for Preventive Health Behavior on Health Expenditures," Ruhr Economic Papers 0373, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  2. Reichert, A.;, 2013. "Obesity, Weight Loss, and Employment Prospects: Evidence from a Randomized Trial," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 13/20, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  3. Cawley, John & Price, Joshua A., 2013. "A case study of a workplace wellness program that offers financial incentives for weight loss," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 794-803.
  4. Tauchmann, Harald & Reichert, Arndt, 2013. "When Outcome Heterogeneously matters for Selection: a Generalized Selection Correction Estimator," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79698, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  5. Harald Tauchmann, 2012. "leebounds: Lee’s treatment effect bounds for samples with nonrandom sample selection," German Stata Users' Group Meetings 2012 11, Stata Users Group.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rwi:repape:0368. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sabine Weiler).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.