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The Rise in Obesity across the Atlantic: An Economic Perspective

Author

Listed:
  • Brunello, Giorgio

    () (University of Padova)

  • Michaud, Pierre-Carl

    () (HEC Montreal)

  • Sanz-de-Galdeano, Anna

    () (Universidad de Alicante)

Abstract

We provide comparable evidence on the patterns and trends in obesity across the Atlantic and analyse whether there are economic rationales for public intervention to control obesity. We take into account equity issues as well as efficiency considerations, which are organized around three categories of market failures: productive inefficiencies, lack of information or rationality and health insurance externalities. We also calculate the long term financial consequences of current US and European obesity trends, and conclude with a brief review of current policies to reduce and prevent excessive body weight both in Europe and the US.

Suggested Citation

  • Brunello, Giorgio & Michaud, Pierre-Carl & Sanz-de-Galdeano, Anna, 2008. "The Rise in Obesity across the Atlantic: An Economic Perspective," IZA Discussion Papers 3529, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3529
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    Cited by:

    1. Huerta, Maria C. & Borgonovi, Francesca, 2010. "Education, alcohol use and abuse among young adults in Britain," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 143-151, July.
    2. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2009. "Grazing, Goods and Girth: Determinants and Effects," NBER Working Papers 15277, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald & Bert Van Landeghem, 2009. "Imitative Obesity and Relative Utility," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 528-538, 04-05.
    4. Costa-Font, Joan & Fabbri, Daniele & Gil, Joan, 2009. "Decomposing body mass index gaps between Mediterranean countries: A counterfactual quantile regression analysis," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 351-365, December.
    5. Tomer, John F., 2013. "Stemming the tide of obesity: What needs to happen," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 88-98.
    6. Eduardo Rodríguez Oreggia & Ana Bertha Pérez Lizaur, 2010. "Factores de dinámica social asociados al índice de masa corporal en adultos en México," Estudios Económicos, El Colegio de México, Centro de Estudios Económicos, vol. 25(2), pages 337-362.
    7. Lundborg, Petter & Nystedt, Paul & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2010. "No Country for Fat Men? Obesity, Earnings, Skills, and Health among 450,000 Swedish Men," IZA Discussion Papers 4775, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. BARONE, Adriana & NESE, Annamaria, 2014. "Body Weight and Academic Performance: Gender and Peer Effects," CELPE Discussion Papers 129, CELPE - Centre of Labour Economics and Economic Policy, University of Salerno, Italy.
    9. Todeschini, F. & Labeaga, J. & Jiménez-Martín, S., 2010. "Death by lung cancer or by diabetes? The unintended consequences of quitting smoking," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 10/16, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    equity; efficiency; health care costs; obesity;

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics

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