Income and Body Mass Index in Europe

18 Pages Posted: 15 Jan 2007

See all articles by Jaume Garcia I. Villar

Jaume Garcia I. Villar

Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Climent Quintana-Domeque

Princeton University - Department of Economics

Date Written: December 2006

Abstract

Obesity is alarming public health authorities around the world. Given this situation it is important to study its determinants. This paper focuses on the economic determinants of obesity. More specifically, we explore the empirical relationship between lifetime income and body mass index (BMI) in seven European Union countries in the short run. To study such a relationship, we make use of an accounting identity that relates current BMI to last year's BMI and current levels of both food consumption and physical activity. We estimate a reduced-form version of such an identity which relates current BMI to last year's BMI and lifetime income. Theoretically, lifetime income should affect contemporaneous BMI through its effect on both current consumption of food and current physical activity. Our results indicate that, once last year BMI's is taken into account, the relationship between lifetime income and BMI is at most weak. Such a finding suggests that income-based public policies are not likely to be effective in the fight against obesity in the short run.

Keywords: Europe, obesity, permanent income, short run

JEL Classification: I12, I18

Suggested Citation

Garcia I. Villar, Jaume and Quintana-Domeque, Climent, Income and Body Mass Index in Europe (December 2006). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=957186 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.957186

Jaume Garcia I. Villar

Universitat Pompeu Fabra ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas 25-27
08005 Barcelona
Spain

Climent Quintana-Domeque (Contact Author)

Princeton University - Department of Economics ( email )

Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
76
Abstract Views
927
rank
433,942
PlumX Metrics