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Food Price Policies and the Distribution of Body Mass Index: Theory and Empirical Evidence from France

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  • Etilé, F

Abstract

This paper uses French food expenditures data to examine the e¤ect of the prices of 23 food product categories on the distribution of Body Mass Index (BMI) in a sample of French adults. A dynamic choice model that uses standard assumptions from Physiology is developed. It is shown that the slope of the price-BMI relationship is a¤ected by the individual’s Physical Activity Level (PAL). When the latter is unobserved, identi…cation of price e¤ects at conditional quantiles of the BMI distribution requires quantile independence between PAL and the covariates, especially income. Then, using quantile regression results, unconditional BMI distributions can be simulated for various price policies. It is found that increasing the price of beverages, fats and sugars and sweets by 10%, and decreasing the price of fruits and vegetables by 10% would reduce the prevalence of overweight and obesity by 5 and 7 percentage points respectively. Correspondance : Fabrice Etilé, etile@ivry.inra.fr; INRA, UR 1303 - ALISS, 65 rue de Brandebourg, F-94205 Ivry-sur-Seine. I am grateful to Christine Boizot-Szantai for research assistance, to Olivier Allais, Arnaud Basdevant, Pierre Dubois, Sébastien Lecocq and Anne- Laure Samson for discussions and suggestions, and to seminar participants at the 2005 EAAE Congress (Copenhaguen), INRA-IDEI (Toulouse), INRA-GAEL (Grenoble), York Seminar in Health Econometrics (U.York), INRA-EC (Blois), JESF 2007 (Lille), SFER conference (Paris), and Erasmus School of Economics (Rotterdam) for helpful comments on various versions of this paper.

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  • Etilé, F, 2008. "Food Price Policies and the Distribution of Body Mass Index: Theory and Empirical Evidence from France," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 08/10, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  • Handle: RePEc:yor:hectdg:08/10
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    Cited by:

    1. Bonnet, Céline & Réquillart, Vincent, 2013. "Tax incidence with strategic firms in the soft drink market," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 77-88.
    2. Bonnet, Céline & Réquillart, Vincent, 2011. "Strategic Pricing and Health Price Policies," IDEI Working Papers 671, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised Jul 2012.
    3. repec:bla:econom:v:84:y:2017:i:333:p:34-53 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Bradbear, Catherine & Friel, Sharon, 2013. "Integrating climate change, food prices and population health," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 56-66.
    5. Rachel Griffith & Martin O'Connell & Kate Smith, 2017. "The Importance of Product Reformulation Versus Consumer Choice in Improving Diet Quality," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 84(333), pages 34-53, January.

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