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Urban Sprawl And Obesity

Author

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

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Bernell, Stephanie L. & Plantinga, Andrew J. & Wu, JunJie, 2003. "Urban Sprawl And Obesity," 2003 Annual meeting, July 27-30, Montreal, Canada 22004, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea03:22004
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/22004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2000. "Are Recessions Good for Your Health?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 617-650.
    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. Chou, Shin-Yi & Grossman, Michael & Saffer, Henry, 2004. "An economic analysis of adult obesity: results from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 565-587, May.
    4. repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.70.9.1006_1 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Bouis, Howarth E., 1996. "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?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 239-266, December.
    6. John Cawley, 2000. "Body Weight and Women's Labor Market Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 7841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Asfaw, Abay, 2007. "Do Government Food Price Policies Affect the Prevalence of Obesity? Empirical Evidence from Egypt," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 687-701, April.

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