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Intergenerational transmission of non-communicable chronic diseases

  • Goulão, Catarina
  • Pérez-Barahona, Agustín

We introduce a theoretical framework that contributes to the understanding of the non-communicable chronic diseases (NCDs) epidemics: even if NCDs are not "biologically" communicable, they may spread due to the transmission of unhealthy activities such as unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and smoking. In particular, we study the intergenerational dimension of this mechanism. We found 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, we also observe that our model is consistent with the existence of regional asymmetries regarding the prevalence of obesity and NCDs.

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Paper provided by Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) in its series TSE Working Papers with number 11-219.

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Date of creation: 14 Jan 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Public Economic Theory, vol.�16, n°3, juin 2014, p.�467-490.
Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:24012
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