Obesity and the Rate of Time Preference: Is there a Connection?

While agreeing that technological change is an important cause of the rise in obesity, we suggest that a complementary factor bears further investigation

John Komlos

2005

Scholarcy highlights

  • That obesity worldwide has increased recently is well known
  • While agreeing that technological change is an important cause of the rise in obesity, we suggest that a complementary factor bears further investigation
  • Time preference refers to the rate at which people are willing to trade current benefit for future benefit and is used in economics to explain savings and investment behavior
  • Our goal is to propose that changes in the rate of time preference may help explain recent trends in obesity
  • 1+ σ the higher is time preference, the lower is the value of future utility, and the greater is the impatience of an individual
  • A policy implication that follows from these consideration is that measures that would tend to lower the marginal rate of time preference of the population would help stem the obesity epidemic

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