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Urban Sprawl And Obesity

  • Bernell, Stephanie L.
  • Plantinga, Andrew J.
  • Wu, JunJie

In the U.S., urban sprawl and the rise in obesity rates have been two powerful trends during the latter half of the 20th century. Previous empirical work has found that obesity rates are influenced by labor market outcomes that are fundamentally shaped by the spatial pattern of developed land. We examine these potential linkages in an urban spatial model augmented to include time allocation and weight. Residents maximize utility defined over housing, weight, and food subject to a fixed time budget allocated to commuting, calorie expenditure, and work. We examine how weight is affected by commuting distance, food prices, and the rate of calorie expenditure; how a reduction in transportation costs affects weight throughout the city; and how initial weight affects location decisions. We identify, and explore the significance of, the conditions under which weight gain is associated with common features of sprawl.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/22004
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Paper provided by American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association) in its series 2003 Annual meeting, July 27-30, Montreal, Canada with number 22004.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea03:22004
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  1. Shin-Yi Chou & Michael Grossman & Henry Saffer, 2002. "An Economic Analysis of Adult Obesity: Results from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System," NBER Working Papers 9247, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Tomas J. Philipson & Richard A. Posner, 1999. "The Long-Run Growth in Obesity as a Function of Technological Change," Working Papers 9912, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  3. John Cawley, 2000. "Body Weight and Women's Labor Market Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 7841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1996. "Are Recessions Good For Your Health?," NBER Working Papers 5570, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Bouis, Howarth E., 1989. "A Food Demand System Based On Demand For Characteristics: If There Is "Curvature" In The Slutsky Matrix, What Do The Curves Look Like And Why?," 1989 Conference (33rd), February 7-9, 1989, Christchurch, New Zealand 144663, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
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