'Globesity'? The Effects of Globalization on Obesity and Caloric Intake

43 Pages Posted: 7 Oct 2014

See all articles by Joan Costa-Font

Joan Costa-Font

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Núria Mas

University of Navarra - IESE Business School

Date Written: October 2016

Abstract

We examine the effect of globalization, in its economic and social dimensions, on obesity and caloric intake, namely the so –called ‘globesity’ hypothesis. Our results suggest a robust association between globalization and both obesity and caloric intake. A one standard deviation increase in globalization is associated with a 23.8 percent increase in obese population and a 4.3 percent rise in calorie intake. The effect remains statistically significant even with an instrumental variable strategy to correct for some possible reverse causality, a lagged structure, and corrections for panel standard errors. However, we find that the primary driver is ‘social’ rather than ‘economic’ globalization effects, and specifically the effects of changes in ‘information flows’ and ‘social proximity’ on obesity. A one standard deviation increase in social globalization increased the percentage of obese population by 13.7 percent.

Keywords: globalization, obesity, calorie intake, health production, social globalization, economic globalization, KOF Index

JEL Classification: I18, F69, P46

Suggested Citation

Costa-Font, Joan and Mas, Núria, 'Globesity'? The Effects of Globalization on Obesity and Caloric Intake (October 2016). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 4982; IESE Business School Working Paper No. WP1103-E. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2506593

Joan Costa-Font (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://joancostaifont.org/

Núria Mas

University of Navarra - IESE Business School ( email )

Avenida Pearson 21
Barcelona, 08034
Spain

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