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:

http://hdl.handle.net/10419/52115
  
Title:The economics of risky health behaviors PDF Logo
Authors:Cawley, John
Ruhm, Christopher J.
Issue Date:2011
Series/Report no.:Discussion paper series // Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit 5728
Abstract:Risky health behaviors such as smoking, drinking alcohol, drug use, unprotected sex, and poor diets and sedentary lifestyles (leading to obesity) are a major source of preventable deaths. This chapter overviews the theoretical frameworks for, and empirical evidence on, the economics of risky health behaviors. It describes traditional economic approaches emphasizing utility maximization that, under certain assumptions, result in Pareto-optimal outcomes and a limited role for policy interventions. It also details nontraditional models (e.g. involving hyperbolic time discounting or bounded rationality) that even without market imperfections can result in suboptimal outcomes for which government intervention has greater potential to increase social welfare. The chapter summarizes the literature on the consequences of risky health behaviors for economic outcomes such as medical care costs, educational attainment, employment, wages, and crime. It also reviews the research on policies and strategies with the potential to modify risky health behaviors, such as taxes or subsidies, cash incentives, restrictions on purchase and use, providing information and restricting advertising. The chapter concludes with suggestions for future research.
Subjects:health behaviors
alcohol
tobacco
smoking
drugs
obesity
diet
food
physical activity
public health
public policy
taxation
subsidies
addiction
externalities
advertising
information
behavioral economics
neuroeconomics
human capital
education
prices
sex
income
time preference
peers
bounded rationality
medical costs
employment
wages
crime
hyperbolic discounting
JEL:I1
I20
I180
D01
H2
D1
D6
D03
D87
D83
J1
Q18
I24
Persistent Identifier of the first edition:urn:nbn:de:101:1-201106013425
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:IZA Discussion Papers, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit (IZA)

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat
669363588.pdf609.85 kBAdobe PDF
No. of Downloads: Counter Stats
Download bibliographical data as: BibTeX
Share on:http://hdl.handle.net/10419/52115

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