'Globesity'? The Effects of Globalization on Obesity and Caloric Intake
43 Pages Posted: 7 Oct 2014
Date Written: October 2016
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: Suggested Citation