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Limited Self-Control, Obesity and the Loss of Happiness

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  • Stutzer, Alois

    (University of Basel)

Abstract

Obesity has become a major health issue. Research in economics has provided NEWLINE important insights as to how technological progress reduced the relative price of food and NEWLINE contributed to the increase in obesity. However, the increased availability of food might well NEWLINE have overstrained will power and led to suboptimal consumption decisions relative to NEWLINE people's own standards. We propose the economics of happiness as an approach to study the NEWLINE phenomenon. Based on proxy measures for experienced utility, it is possible to directly NEWLINE address whether certain observed behavior is suboptimal and therefore reduces a person's NEWLINE well-being. It is found that obesity decreases the well-being of individuals who report limited NEWLINE self-control, but not otherwise.

Suggested Citation

  • Stutzer, Alois, 2007. "Limited Self-Control, Obesity and the Loss of Happiness," Working papers 2007/07, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
  • Handle: RePEc:bsl:wpaper:2007/07
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    obesity; revealed preference; self-control problem; subjective well-being;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being

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