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Obesity and Price Sensitivity at the Supermarket

Author

Listed:
  • Gandal Neil

    () (Tel Aviv University & CEPR)

  • Shabelansky Anastasia

    () (Tel Aviv University)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Gandal Neil & Shabelansky Anastasia, 2010. "Obesity and Price Sensitivity at the Supermarket," Forum for Health Economics & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 13(2), pages 1-19, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:fhecpo:v:13:y:2010:i:2:n:9
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 93-118, Summer.
    2. Darius Lakdawalla & Tomas Philipson, 2002. "The Growth of Obesity and Technological Change: A Theoretical and Empirical Examination," Working Papers 0203, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
    3. 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.
    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.
    5. Geir Wæhler Gustavsen & Kyrre Rickertsen, 2009. "The effects of taxes on purchases of sugar-sweetened carbonated soft drinks: a quantile regression approach," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(6), pages 707-716.
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    Cited by:

    1. Paul W. Dobson & Eitan Gerstner, 2010. "For a Few Cents More: Why Supersize Unhealthy Food?," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 29(4), pages 770-778, 07-08.
    2. Dobson, Paul W. & Chakraborty, Ratula & Seaton, Jonathan S., 2017. "Containing big soda: Countering inducements to buy large-size sugary drinks," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 185-191.
    3. Okrent, Abigail & Sweitzer, Megan, 2016. "Obesity as a Modifier of Price Sensitivity in the United States," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 236251, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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