Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=426700
 
 

References (23)



 
 

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Gluttony and Sloth vs. Bliss


Heather Bednarek


Saint Louis University - Department of Economics

Thomas D. Jeitschko


Michigan State University - Department of Economics

Rowena Pecchenino


NUI Maynooth - Department of Economics

July 2003


Abstract:     
In a model of rational agent choice, in which agents value consumption and leisure as well as health, we establish that individuals, unconstrained by concerns of income or time, can and will choose levels of consumption and leisure that exceed their physiological optima. By how much they exceed the optima depends on a variety of factors, most importantly, the utility cost (benefit) of achieving health. Observed positive trends in adult weight, brought on by higher levels of consumption and lower levels of physical activity, often interpreted as a public health crisis in the making, can be explained by these factors. But, rather than the trend suggesting crisis, it suggests only optimal responses to altered, and perhaps improved, circumstances. While individuals today, all else equal, may weigh more than those a generation or two ago, they are also happier.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 34

Keywords: Obesity, Overweightness, Economics of Obesity, Consumption Choices, Budget Allocation, Leisure Choices, Time Allocation, Economic Development, Technological Change

JEL Classification: I1, I12, I18, D1, D11, J2, O1, O3

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Date posted: July 28, 2003  

Suggested Citation

Bednarek, Heather and Jeitschko, Thomas D. and Pecchenino, Rowena, Gluttony and Sloth vs. Bliss (July 2003). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=426700 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.426700

Contact Information

Heather Bednarek
Saint Louis University - Department of Economics ( email )
Lindell Boulevard
Saint Louis, MO 63108
United States
314-977-3847 (Phone)
Thomas D. Jeitschko
Michigan State University - Department of Economics ( email )
110 Marshall-Adams Hall
East Lansing, MI 48824
United States
517-355-8302 (Phone)
517-432-1068 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.msu.edu/~jeitschk/
Rowena Pecchenino (Contact Author)
NUI Maynooth - Department of Economics ( email )
County Kildare
Ireland
35317083751 (Phone)
35317083934 (Fax)
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