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dc.contributor.authorOswald, Andrew J.en_US
dc.contributor.authorPowdthavee, Nattavudhen_US
dc.date.accessioned2007-11-23en_US
dc.date.accessioned2010-07-07T11:26:24Z-
dc.date.available2010-07-07T11:26:24Z-
dc.date.issued2007en_US
dc.identifier.piurn:nbn:de:101:1-2008041009en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10419/34668-
dc.description.abstractIs affluence a good thing? The book The Challenge of Affluence by Avner Offer (2006) argues that economic prosperity weakens self-control and undermines human well-being. Consistent with a pessimistic view, we show that psychological distress has been rising through time in modern Great Britain. Taking over-eating as an example, our data reveal that half the British population view themselves as overweight, and that happiness and mental health are worse among fatter people in both Britain and Germany. A 10-point move up in body mass index (BMI) is associated in the cross-section with a drop in psychological health of approximately 0.3 GHQ points. Comparisons also matter. For a given level of BMI, we find that people who are educated or who have high income are more likely to view themselves as overweight. We discuss problems of inference and argue that longitudinal data on BMI are needed. We suggest a theory of imitation where utility depends on relative weight in which there can be obesity spirals after only small drops in the price of food.en_US
dc.language.isoengen_US
dc.publisherIZA Bonnen_US
dc.relation.ispartofseriesIZA Discussion Papers 2717en_US
dc.subject.ddc330en_US
dc.subject.stwReichtumen_US
dc.subject.stwLebenszufriedenheiten_US
dc.subject.stwTheorieen_US
dc.titleObesity, unhappiness, and The challenge of affluence: theory and evidenceen_US
dc.typeWorking Paperen_US
dc.identifier.ppn550225420en_US
dc.rightshttp://www.econstor.eu/dspace/Nutzungsbedingungen-
Appears in Collections:IZA Discussion Papers, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit (IZA)

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