March 1, 2017 at 4:30 pm

Economics Seminar | In the Long Run We All Are … Obese? Convergence and Long-Term Weight Estimates for European Individuals, March 31


Dr. Patricia Toledo

Dr. Patricia Toledo

The Economics Seminar series presents Dr. Patricia Toledo and Dr. Roberto Duncan discussing “In the Long Run We All Are … Obese?  Convergence and Long-Term Weight Estimates for European Individuals” on March 31 at 3 p.m. in Bentley Annex 302.

Toledo is Assistant Professor of Economics, and Duncan is Associate Professor of Economics at Ohio University.

Dr. Roberto Duncan

Dr. Roberto Duncan

Abstract: We show that the rational non-addiction model, under certain conditions, predicts convergence: countries with low Body Mass Index (BMI) tend to gain weight, on average, faster than those with higher BMI. We derive an equation for weight to test this hypothesis using a recently published database with estimates of BMI across countries for the 1975-2014 period. First, we find that BMIs converge in Europe but not in the rest of the world. Second, Europeans’ BMIs converge to their steady states but the convergence rates are lower for women than for men. Third, the half-life convergence—the time that it takes for half the initial gap between the BMI and its long-run level to be eliminated—is about a century for women and three decades for men. Fourth, our long-run estimates of BMI suggest that the average European will be nearly obese ($BMI≥ 30$) or highly overweight ($25≤ BMI< 30$) in the long run.

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