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Competition and Food Intake: A Laboratory Study

Author

Listed:
  • Marisa Bucheli

    (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República)

  • Mariana Gerstenblüth

    (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República)

  • Máximo Rossi

    (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República)

Abstract

In this paper we are interested on the study of the effect of competition on the food intake from two perspectives: the overall consumption and the substitution between two snacks (a “healthy” and a “non-healthy” snack). For this purpose we do a laboratory experiment in which the participants are women. Participants are offered chocolate candies and raisings as they solve several tasks. Half of the participants solve the tasks under non- competitive piece rate and the other half, under a competitive a tournament incentive scheme. The results show that the intake of participants is higher under tournament than piece rate payment. Moreover, the increase of food intake is led by a rise of chocolate consumption. We interpret that competition increases the consumption of fat, calories and carbohydrates and thus, affect the eating behavior in favor of unhealthy patterns. This research contributes to the strand of the literature that focuses on factors that affect the eating behavior which influences health.

Suggested Citation

  • Marisa Bucheli & Mariana Gerstenblüth & Máximo Rossi, 2015. "Competition and Food Intake: A Laboratory Study," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 0615, Department of Economics - dECON.
  • Handle: RePEc:ude:wpaper:0615
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Uri Gneezy & Kenneth L. Leonard & John A. List, 2009. "Gender Differences in Competition: Evidence From a Matrilineal and a Patriarchal Society," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(5), pages 1637-1664, September.
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    3. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2007. "Do Women Shy Away From Competition? Do Men Compete Too Much?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1067-1101.
    4. Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2002. "Risk Aversion and Incentive Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1644-1655, December.
    5. Uri Gneezy & Muriel Niederle & Aldo Rustichini, 2003. "Performance in Competitive Environments: Gender Differences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1049-1074.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    food intake; competition; laboratory experiment; women;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • I19 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Other

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