Thought for Food: Understanding Educational Disparities in Food Consumption

Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 15-034/V

54 Pages Posted: 15 Mar 2015

See all articles by Hale Koç

Hale Koç

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE)

Hans van Kippersluis

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE)

Date Written: March 13, 2015

Abstract

Higher educated individuals are healthier and live longer than their lower educated peers. One reason is that lower educated individuals engage more in unhealthy behaviours including consumption of a poor diet, but it is not clear why they do so. In this paper we develop an economic theory of unhealthy food choice, and use a Discrete Choice Experiment to discriminate between the theoretical parameters. Differences in health knowledge appear to be responsible for the greatest part of the education disparity in diet. However, when faced with the most explicit health information regarding diet, lower educated individuals still state choices that imply a lower concern for negative health consequences. This is consistent with a theoretical prediction that part of the education differences across health behaviours is driven by the "marginal value of health" rising with education.

Keywords: Health, Education, Diet, Discrete Choice Experiment

JEL Classification: C25, I12, I24

Suggested Citation

Koç, Hale and van Kippersluis, Hans, Thought for Food: Understanding Educational Disparities in Food Consumption (March 13, 2015). Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 15-034/V, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2577735 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2577735

Hale Koç (Contact Author)

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam, NL 3062 PA
Netherlands

Hans Van Kippersluis

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) ( email )

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, NL 3062 PA
Netherlands

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