Obesity, unhappiness, and the challenge of affluence : theory and evidence
Oswald, Andrew J. and Powdthavee, Nattavudh. (2007) Obesity, unhappiness, and the challenge of affluence : theory and evidence. Economic Journal, Vol.117 (No.6). pp. 441-454. ISSN 0013-0133
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0297.2007.02077_1...
Is 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 Britain and Germany. Comparisons also matter. We discuss problems of inference and argue that longitudinal data are needed. We suggest a theory of obesity imitation where utility depends on relative weight.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare|
|Divisions:||Faculty of Social Sciences > Economics|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Obesity, Happiness, Mental health|
|Journal or Publication Title:||Economic Journal|
|Date:||22 June 2007|
|Page Range:||pp. 441-454|
|Access rights to Published version:||Open Access|
|Funder:||Economic and Social Research Council (Great Britain) (ESRC)|
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