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Limited Self-Control, Obesity and the Loss of Happiness

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  • Alois Stutzer
  • Armando N. Meier

Abstract

Is obesity the consequence of an optimally chosen lifestyle or do people consume too much relative to their long-term preferences? The latter perspective accepts that people might face self-control problems when exposed to the immediate gratification from food. We exploit unique survey data for Switzerland in multinomial logit and ordered probit regressions to study i) the covariates of obesity including indicators of self-control, and ii) the consequences of obesity on the subjective well-being of people with limited willpower. Our main finding is that obesity decreases the well-being of individuals who report having limited self-control, but not otherwise.

Suggested Citation

  • Alois Stutzer & Armando N. Meier, 2015. "Limited Self-Control, Obesity and the Loss of Happiness," CREMA Working Paper Series 2015-14, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  • Handle: RePEc:cra:wpaper:2015-14
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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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