Thought for Food: Understanding Educational Disparities in Diet
54 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2016
Date Written: January 14, 2016
Higher educated individuals are healthier and live longer than their lower educated peers. One reason is that lower educated individuals engage more often in unhealthy behaviors, including consumption of a poor diet, but it is not clear why they do so. In this paper, we design a Discrete Choice Experiment, based upon an economic model of unhealthy consumption, to understand the relationship between education and diet. Our results show that differences in dietary knowledge are responsible for the greatest part of the education disparity in diet. However, even when faced with the most explicit information regarding components of a healthy diet, lower educated individuals still state choices that imply a lower concern for negative health consequences. This is consistent with the model’s prediction that part of the education differences across health behaviors is driven by a higher “value of health” among the higher educated.
Keywords: Health, Education, Diet, Discrete Choice Experiment
JEL Classification: C25, I12, I24
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation