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Modelling Social Dynamics (of Obesity) and Thresholds

Author

Listed:
  • Franz Wirl

    () (University of Vienna, Brnnerstr. 72, Room 123, 1210 Vienna, Austria)

  • Gustav Feichtinger

    (Division for Population Economics, Vienna Institute for Demography, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Wohllebengasse 12-14, 1040 Vienna, Austria)

Abstract

This paper focuses on the dynamic aspects of individual behavior affected by its social embedding, either at large (society-wide norms or averages) or at a local neighborhood. The emphasis is on how initial conditions can affect the long run outcome and to derive, discuss and apply the conditions for such thresholds. For this purpose, intertemporal social pressure (from peers, from norms, or from fashions) is modelled in two different ways: (i) individual benefit is influenced by the possession of a stock (in the application: weight) and the society wide average, and (ii) individual benefits depend on a norm that follows its own motion, of course driven by agents’ behavior. The topical issue of obesity serves as motivation and corresponding models and examples are presented and analyzed.

Suggested Citation

  • Franz Wirl & Gustav Feichtinger, 2010. "Modelling Social Dynamics (of Obesity) and Thresholds," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 1(4), pages 1-20, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jgames:v:1:y:2010:i:4:p:395-414:d:9849
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Cohen-Cole, Ethan & Fletcher, Jason M., 2008. "Is obesity contagious? Social networks vs. environmental factors in the obesity epidemic," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 1382-1387, September.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Strulik, Holger, 2014. "A mass phenomenon: The social evolution of obesity," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, pages 113-125.
    2. Barbieri, Paolo Nicola, 2015. "Social Distortion in Weight Perception: A Decomposition of the Obesity Epidemic," Working Papers in Economics 639, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    3. Herbert Dawid & Engelbert Dockner & Richard Hartl & Josef Haunschmied & Ulrike Leopold-Wildburger & Mikulas Luptacik & Alexander Mehlmann & Alexia Prskawetz & Marion Rauner & Gerhard Sorger & Gernot T, 2010. "Gustav Feichtinger celebrates his 70th birthday," Central European Journal of Operations Research, Springer;Slovak Society for Operations Research;Hungarian Operational Research Society;Czech Society for Operations Research;Österr. Gesellschaft für Operations Research (ÖGOR);Slovenian Society Informatika - Section for Operational Research;Croatian Operational Research Society, vol. 18(4), pages 437-451, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    obesity; history dependence; social interactions;

    JEL classification:

    • C - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods
    • C7 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory
    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • C71 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Cooperative Games
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games
    • C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games

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