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The macroeconomics of obesity


  • Pere Gomis Porqueras
  • Adrian Peralta-Alva

    () (Department of Economics University of Miami)


The weight of the average American adult male and female has increased by 16 and 14 pounds respectively and obesity rates have doubled since the early 1960s. Recent studies show these changes in weight can be attributed to the dramatic rise in the consumption of food away from home. We investigate the role of taxes and the gender wage gap in accounting for the trends in the composition of food consumed by the average American adult. According to our general equilibrium analysis, the observed movements in the personal income tax rate and in the gender wage gap explain the increase in the caloric intake from the consumption of food away from home. Our theory is also consistent with the patterns of time use on market activities, food preparation, and capital specific for cooking activities of Americans

Suggested Citation

  • Pere Gomis Porqueras & Adrian Peralta-Alva, 2006. "The macroeconomics of obesity," 2006 Meeting Papers 687, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed006:687

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    More about this item


    Gender Wage gap and Obesity;

    JEL classification:

    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health


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