The Causal Link between Financial Incentives and Weight Loss

43 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 2011

See all articles by Alfredo R. Paloyo

Alfredo R. Paloyo

Rhine-Westphalia Institute for Economic Research (RWI-Essen); Ruhr University of Bochum; University of Wollongong

Arndt R. Reichert

World Bank; Rhine-Westphalia Institute for Economic Research (RWI-Essen)

Harald Tauchmann

Rhine-Westphalia Institute for Economic Research (RWI-Essen)

Holger Reinermann

University of Cologne - SOCLIFE Research Training Group

Date Written: November 1, 2011

Abstract

Obesity and overweight are linked to diseases that cost society a significant amount of resources. While behavior modification can reduce the problem, instigating such lifestyle changes is an uneasy task. One potential way to reduce the problem is through the use of financial incentives. In this survey, we review the available evidence with a significant emphasis on studies that yield credible estimates of the effect of financial incentives on weight loss. We find that the scientific literature on the subject has not yet satisfactorily settled whether such a mechanism is effective at eliciting the desired behavioral and health outcomes. We therefore advocate a rigorous large-scale randomized experiment to provide reliable estimates of the effect.

Keywords: Financial incentives, weight loss, obesity, randomized experiment, survey

JEL Classification: I10, I12, I13, I18

Suggested Citation

Paloyo, Alfredo R. and Reichert, Arndt Rudiger and Tauchmann, Harald and Reinermann, Holger, The Causal Link between Financial Incentives and Weight Loss (November 1, 2011). Ruhr Economic Paper No. 290, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1965496 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1965496

Alfredo R. Paloyo

Rhine-Westphalia Institute for Economic Research (RWI-Essen) ( email )

Hohenzollernstr. 1-3
Essen, 45128
Germany

Ruhr University of Bochum ( email )

Bochum, 44780
Germany

University of Wollongong ( email )

Northfields Avenue
Wollongong, New South Wales 2522
Australia

Arndt Rudiger Reichert (Contact Author)

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Rhine-Westphalia Institute for Economic Research (RWI-Essen) ( email )

Hohenzollernstr. 1-3
Essen, 45128
Germany

Harald Tauchmann

Rhine-Westphalia Institute for Economic Research (RWI-Essen) ( email )

Hohenzollernstr. 1-3
45128 Essen
Germany

Holger Reinermann

University of Cologne - SOCLIFE Research Training Group ( email )

Venloer Stra├če 151-153
Cologne, 50672
Germany

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