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Obesity and Price Sensitivity at the Supermarket

  • Gandal Neil


    (Tel Aviv University & CEPR)

  • Shabelansky Anastasia


    (Tel Aviv University)

In this paper, we employ a rich data set at the individual level in order to examine which factors are most highly correlated with obesity. Our main result is that, even after controlling for income levels and other factors, high “price-sensitivity” for food products is associated with high obesity rates. We find that a woman of average height who stated that prices were “not important at all” when purchasing food products had a weight circumference 4.5 centimeters (roughly 1.8 inches) smaller than those who stated that price was “very important.” We also show that this price effect is not limited to those with low income levels.

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Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal Forum for Health Economics & Policy.

Volume (Year): 13 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (July)
Pages: 1-19

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:fhecpo:v:13:y:2010:i:2:n:9
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  1. Baum II, Charles L. & Ruhm, Christopher J., 2009. "Age, socioeconomic status and obesity growth," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 635-648, May.
  2. Darius Lakdawalla & Tomas Philipson, 2002. "The Growth of Obesity and Technological Change: A Theoretical and Empirical Examination," NBER Working Papers 8946, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Shapiro, Jesse & Glaeser, Edward & Cutler, David, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese," Scholarly Articles 2640583, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Burkhauser, Richard V. & Cawley, John, 2008. "Beyond BMI: The value of more accurate measures of fatness and obesity in social science research," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 519-529, March.
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