Obesity and the Rate of Time Preference: Is There a Connection?

22 Pages Posted: 14 Nov 2003

See all articles by John Komlos

John Komlos

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) - Faculty of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Patricia K. Smith

University of Michigan at Dearborn - Department of Social Sciences

Barry Bogin

Loughborough University

Abstract

We hypothesize that recent trends in U.S. and worldwide obesity are, in part, related to an increase in the marginal rate of time preference, where time preference refers to the rate at which people are willing to trade current benefit for future benefit. The higher the rate of time preference, the larger is the factor by which individuals discount the future health risks associated with current consumption. Data from the United States, as well as international evidence, suggests that a relationship between these two variables is plausible. We encourage researchers to explore the possible link between obesity and time preference, as important insights are likely to result.

Keywords: time preference, obesity

Suggested Citation

Komlos, John and Smith, Patricia K. and Bogin, Barry, Obesity and the Rate of Time Preference: Is There a Connection?. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=464105 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.464105

John Komlos (Contact Author)

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Ludwigstrasse 28
Munich, D-80539
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Patricia K. Smith

University of Michigan at Dearborn - Department of Social Sciences ( email )

Dearborn, MI 48128
United States

Barry Bogin

Loughborough University ( email )

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