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What, When, and How Much: The Search for Financial Incentive Designs to Enhance the Reach of Weight Loss Programs


  • Hashemi, Ali

    () (Wake Forest University, Economics Department)


Participation rates (i.e., reach) of weight loss programs have been relatively low, limiting the potential for public health impacts. Financial incentives are common tools employed to increase program reach and adherence. However no known study has simultaneously examined wide ranges of incentive attributes and levels in terms of their influence on weight loss program participation. This study uses stated-preference methods to elicit individuals’ program participation preference towards different financial incentive attributes: amount, type and timing. Results from random parameter logit models show that immediate payments that are easily fungible in peoples’ daily lives will engender the highest participation rates. The observed heterogeneity, both in subject responses to program attributes and in terms of subject characteristics, indicates that a weight loss program with a one-size-fits-all financial incentive component will not maximize participation.

Suggested Citation

  • Hashemi, Ali, 2012. "What, When, and How Much: The Search for Financial Incentive Designs to Enhance the Reach of Weight Loss Programs," Working Papers 103, Wake Forest University, Economics Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:wfuewp:0103

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    More about this item


    Financial Incentives; Program Reach; Random Parameter Logit; Stated-Preference Method;

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations


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