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A Theory of Rational Junk-Food Consumption

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Abstract

An expected lifetime-utility maximizing diet of junk and health food is analyzed. The stationary junk-food consumption level is equal to the ratio of the recovery capacity of a perfectly healthy person to the sensitivity of her health to junk food. The greater the difference between the relative taste and the stationary relative price of junk food, rate of time preference, and elasticity of satisfaction from food, the better the stationary health of the rational junk-food consumer. The greater the full capacity income, recovery capacity, and health sensitivity to junk-food, the worse the stationary health of the rational junkfood consumer.

Suggested Citation

  • Levy, Amnon, 2002. "A Theory of Rational Junk-Food Consumption," Economics Working Papers wp02-11, School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
  • Handle: RePEc:uow:depec1:wp02-11
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    File URL: http://www.uow.edu.au/content/groups/public/@web/@commerce/@econ/documents/doc/uow012130.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Levy, Amnon, 2002. "A lifetime portfolio of risky and risk-free sexual behaviour and the prevalence of AIDS," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 993-1007, November.
    2. Olekalns, Nilss & Bardsley, Peter, 1996. "Rational Addiction to Caffeine: An Analysis of Coffee Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 1100-1104, October.
    3. Grossman, Michael & Chaloupka, Frank J & Sirtalan, Ismail, 1998. "An Empirical Analysis of Alcohol Addiction: Results from the Monitoring the Future Panels," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(1), pages 39-48, January.
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    5. Becker, Gary S & Grossman, Michael & Murphy, Kevin M, 1994. "An Empirical Analysis of Cigarette Addiction," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 396-418, June.
    6. Levy, Amnon, 2002. "Rational eating: can it lead to overweightness or underweightness?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(5), pages 887-899, September.
    7. Dockner, Engelbert J & Feichtinger, Gustav, 1993. "Cyclical Consumption Patterns and Rational Addiction," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 256-263, March.
    8. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1988. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 675-700, August.
    9. Karen E. Dynan, 2000. "Habit Formation in Consumer Preferences: Evidence from Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 391-406, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Amnon Levy, 2011. "An Integrative Model of Rational Diet and Physical Activity: Physiological, Gastronomic and Budgetary Aspects," Economics Working Papers wp11-06, School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
    2. Amnon Levy, 2011. "Physiological, Gastronomic and Budgetary Aspects and the Diets of Perfectly and Imperfectly Lifetime-Rational Consumers," Economics Working Papers wp11-13, School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
    3. Sisto, Andrea & Zanola, Roberto, 2004. "Rational Addiction to Cinema? A Dynamic Panel Analysis of European Countries," POLIS Working Papers 38, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.

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