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Competition and Food Intake: A Laboratory Study

Marisa Bucheli (), Mariana Gerstenblüth () and Maximo Rossi ()
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Marisa Bucheli: Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República
Mariana Gerstenblüth: Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República

No 615, Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) from Department of Economics - dECON

Abstract: In this paper we are interested on the study of the effect of competition on the food intake from two perspectives: the overall consumption and the substitution between two snacks (a “healthy” and a “non-healthy” snack). For this purpose we do a laboratory experiment in which the participants are women. Participants are offered chocolate candies and raisings as they solve several tasks. Half of the participants solve the tasks under non- competitive piece rate and the other half, under a competitive a tournament incentive scheme. The results show that the intake of participants is higher under tournament than piece rate payment. Moreover, the increase of food intake is led by a rise of chocolate consumption. We interpret that competition increases the consumption of fat, calories and carbohydrates and thus, affect the eating behavior in favor of unhealthy patterns. This research contributes to the strand of the literature that focuses on factors that affect the eating behavior which influences health.

Keywords: food intake; competition; laboratory experiment; women (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 D12 I19 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr, nep-cbe and nep-exp
Date: 2015-07
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