EconStor >
Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit (IZA), Bonn >
IZA Discussion Papers, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit (IZA) >

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title:Imitative obesity and relative utility PDF Logo
Authors:Blanchflower, David G.
Oswald, Andrew J.
Van Landeghem, Bert
Issue Date:2009
Series/Report no.:IZA discussion papers 4010
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.
Subjects:Body mass index BMI
peer effects
mental health
Persistent Identifier of the first edition:urn:nbn:de:101:1-20090304422
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:IZA Discussion Papers, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit (IZA)

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat
59323927X.pdf184.34 kBAdobe PDF
No. of Downloads: Counter Stats
Download bibliographical data as: BibTeX
Share on:

Items in EconStor are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.