International Evidence On Obesity Increases: Legal Systems And Motor Vehicle Dependence
We find a significant positive link between motor vehicle ownership and obesity in industrialized countries. Surprisingly this association holds for countries with a common law tradition but not for those based on civil law. These relations hold whether we examine trend data, simple correlations, cross-section regression analysis, or panel data regressions. An increase of 100 motor vehicles per thousand residents is associated with a six percentage point increase in obesity in Common Law countries but not in Civil Law countries. The robustness of this main result and the clear link between increased ownership of motor vehicles and reduced physical activity suggests the association is causal. Motor vehicle dependence is an important link in the growth of obesity in countries with a tradition of common law where individual liberty is encouraged; the link is statistically non-existent in countries with a civil law background where the rights of the individual tend to be circumscribed by the power of the state. This suggests that efforts to discourage the over-reliance on the automobile would have the greatest obesity reducing impact precisely in those countries where it is most difficult, in terms of legal heritage, to implement such measures.
|Date of creation:||14 Nov 2008|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood 3125|
Phone: 61 3 9244 3815
Fax: +61 3 5227 2655
Web page: http://www.deakin.edu.au/buslaw/aef/index.php
More information through EDIRC
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:dkn:econwp:eco_2008_24. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dr Xueli Tang)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.