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Non-monotonic health behaviours - implications for individual health-related behaviour in a demand-for-health framework

Author

Listed:
  • Bolin, Kristian

    () (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

  • Lindgren, Björn

    (Centre for Health Economics, University of Gothenburg, Gotenburg, Sweden; Dept of Health Sciences, Lund University, Lund, Sweden; National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge MA, US)

Abstract

A number of behaviours influence health in a non-monotonic way. Physical activity and alcohol consumption, for instance, may be beneficial to one’s health in moderate but detrimental in large quantities. We develop a demand-for-health framework that incorporates the feature of a physiologically optimal level. An individual may still choose a physiologically non-optimal level, because of the trade-off in his or her preferences for health versus other utility-affecting commodities. However, any deviation from the physiologically optimal level will be punished with respect to health. A set of steady-state comparative statics is derived regarding the effects on the demand for health and health-related behaviour, indicating that individuals will react differently to exogenous changes, depending on the amount of the health-related behaviour they demand. We also show (a) that a steady-state equilibrium is a saddle-point and (b) that the physiologically optimal level may be a steady-state equilibrium for the individual. Our analysis suggests that general public-health policies may, to some extent, be counterproductive due to the responses induced in parts of the population.

Suggested Citation

  • Bolin, Kristian & Lindgren, Björn, 2014. "Non-monotonic health behaviours - implications for individual health-related behaviour in a demand-for-health framework," Working Papers in Economics 588, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0588
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    File URL: https://gupea.ub.gu.se/handle/2077/35521
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    human capital; Grossman model; non-monotonic health investments; health; steadystate and stable equilibria;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior

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