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Intergenerational transmission of non-communicable chronic diseases

  • Catarina Goulao

    (TSE - Toulouse School of Economics - Toulouse School of Economics)

  • Agustin Pérez-Barahona

    (ECO-PUB - Economie Publique - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA) - AgroParisTech, Department of Economics, Ecole Polytechnique - Polytechnique - X - CNRS)

We introduce a theoretical framework that contributes to the understanding of non-communicable chronic diseases' (NCDs) epidemics: even if NCDs are non-infectious diseases, they may spread due to the social transmission of unhealthy activities such as unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and smoking. In particular, we study the intergener- ational dimension of this mechanism. We find that, due to the social transmission of NCDs, agents choose lower health conditions and higher unhealthy activities than what is socially optimal. Taxes on unhealthy activities, that may subsidize health investments, can be used to restore the social optimum. Finally, our model is consistent with the existence of regional asymmetries regarding the prevalence of obesity and NCDs.

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Date of creation: 23 Apr 2012
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Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:hal-00690325
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