Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/10181
Appears in Collections:Economics Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Imitative Obesity and Relative Utility
Authors: Blanchflower, David
Van, Landeghem Bert
Oswald, Andrew J
Contact Email: david.blanchflower@stir.ac.uk
Issue Date: Apr-2009
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell for the European Economic Association (EEA)
Citation: Blanchflower D, Van Landeghem B & Oswald AJ (2009) Imitative Obesity and Relative Utility, Journal of the European Economic Association, 7 (2/3), pp. 528-538.
Abstract: If human beings care about their relative weight, a form of imitative obesity can emerge (in which people subconsciously keep up with the weight of the Joneses). Using Eurobarometer data on 29 countries, this paper provides cross-sectional evidence that overweight perceptions and dieting are influenced by a person's relative BMI, and longitudinal evidence from the German Socioeconomic Panel that well-being is influenced by relative BMI. Highly educated people see themselves as fatter -- at any given actual weight -- than those with low education. These results should be treated cautiously, and fixed-effects estimates are not always well determined, but there are grounds to take seriously the possibility of socially contagious obesity.
Type: Journal Article
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/10181
DOI Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1162/JEEA.2009.7.2-3.528
Rights: The publisher does not allow this work to be made publicly available in this Repository. Please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study.
Affiliation: Economics
KU Leuven
University of Warwick

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