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A Silver Lining? The Connection between Gasoline Prices and Obesity

36 Pages Posted: 25 May 2007 Last revised: 17 Jan 2014

Charles Courtemanche

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Greensboro - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 18, 2008

Abstract

I find evidence of a negative association between gasoline prices and body weight using a fixed effects model with several robustness checks. I also show that increases in gas prices are associated with additional walking and a reduction in the frequency with which people eat at restaurants, explaining their effect on weight. My estimates imply that 8% of the rise in obesity between 1979 and 2004 can be attributed to the concurrent drop in real gas prices, and that a permanent $1 increase in gasoline prices would reduce overweight and obesity in the U.S. by 7% and 10%.

Keywords: obesity, weight, body weight, overweight, gasoline, gasoline prices, gas, gas prices

JEL Classification: I10

Suggested Citation

Courtemanche, Charles, A Silver Lining? The Connection between Gasoline Prices and Obesity (December 18, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=982466 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.982466

Charles Courtemanche (Contact Author)

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Greensboro - Department of Economics ( email )

Greensboro, NC 27402-6165
United States

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