The Rise in Obesity Across the Atlantic: An Economic Perspective

68 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2008

See all articles by Giorgio Brunello

Giorgio Brunello

University of Padova - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Pierre-Carl Michaud

University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM) - Department of Economics; Centre Interuniversitaire sur le Risque, les Politiques Economiques et l'Emploi (CIRPÉE); RAND Corporation, Labor and Population; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Netspar

Anna Sanz-de-Galdeano

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Abstract

We provide comparable evidence on the patterns and trends in obesity across the Atlantic and analyse whether there are economic rationales for public intervention to control obesity. We take into account equity issues as well as efficiency considerations, which are organized around three categories of market failures: productive inefficiencies, lack of information or rationality and health insurance externalities. We also calculate the long term financial consequences of current US and European obesity trends, and conclude with a brief review of current policies to reduce and prevent excessive body weight both in Europe and the US.

Keywords: obesity, health care costs, efficiency, equity

JEL Classification: I1, D6

Suggested Citation

Brunello, Giorgio and Michaud, Pierre-Carl and Sanz De Galdeano, Anna, The Rise in Obesity Across the Atlantic: An Economic Perspective. , Vol. , pp. -, . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1145908 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0042-7092.2007.00700.x

Giorgio Brunello (Contact Author)

University of Padova - Department of Economics ( email )

via Del Santo 33
35121 Padova
Italy
+39 049 827 4223 (Phone)
+39 049 827 4221 (Fax)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Pierre-Carl Michaud

University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM) - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 8888, Downtown Station
Montreal, Quebec H3C 3P8
Canada

Centre Interuniversitaire sur le Risque, les Politiques Economiques et l'Emploi (CIRPÉE) ( email )

Pavillon De Sève
Ste-Foy, Quebec G1K 7P4
Canada

RAND Corporation, Labor and Population ( email )

Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Netspar ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Anna Sanz De Galdeano

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona ( email )

Edifici B - Campus Bellaterra
Barcelona, 08193
Spain

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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