A Silver Lining? The Connection between Gasoline Prices and Obesity
University of North Carolina (UNC) at Greensboro - Department of Economics
December 18, 2008
I find evidence of a negative association between gasoline prices and body weight using a fixed effects model with several robustness checks. I also show that increases in gas prices are associated with additional walking and a reduction in the frequency with which people eat at restaurants, explaining their effect on weight. My estimates imply that 8% of the rise in obesity between 1979 and 2004 can be attributed to the concurrent drop in real gas prices, and that a permanent $1 increase in gasoline prices would reduce overweight and obesity in the U.S. by 7% and 10%.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 36
Keywords: obesity, weight, body weight, overweight, gasoline, gasoline prices, gas, gas prices
JEL Classification: I10working papers series
Date posted: May 25, 2007 ; Last revised: April 8, 2009
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