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Journal Article

Wealth and health behavior: testing the concept of a health cost

Authors

Publication date

Nov 2014

Summary

Wealthier individuals engage in healthier behavior. This paper seeks to explain this phenomenon by exploiting both inheritances and lottery winnings to test a theory of health behavior. We distinguish between the direct monetary cost and the indirect health cost (value of health lost) of unhealthy consumption. The health cost increases with wealth and the degree of unhealthiness, leading wealthier individuals to consume more healthy and moderately unhealthy, but fewer severely unhealthy goods. The empirical evidence presented suggests that differences in health costs may indeed partially explain behavioral differences, and ultimately health outcomes, between wealth groups.

Published in

European Economic Review

Volume and page numbers

72 , 197 -220

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.euroecorev.2014.10.003

ISSN

16

Subjects

Income Dynamics, Savings And Assets, and Health

Links

http://serlib0.essex.ac.uk/record=b1628528~S5

Notes

Albert Sloman Library Periodicals *restricted to Univ. Essex registered users*

#523296


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