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Intergenerational transmission of non-communicable chronic diseases

Catarina Goulão () and Agustin Pérez-Barahona
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Agustin Pérez-Barahona: ECO-PUB - Economie Publique - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - AgroParisTech, X-DEP-ECO - Département d'Économie de l'École Polytechnique - X - École polytechnique

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Abstract: We introduce a theoretical framework that contributes to the understanding of non-communicable chronic diseases' (NCDs) epidemics: even if NCDs are non-infectious diseases, they may spread due to the social transmission of unhealthy activities such as unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and smoking. In particular, we study the intergener- ational dimension of this mechanism. We find that, due to the social transmission of NCDs, agents choose lower health conditions and higher unhealthy activities than what is socially optimal. Taxes on unhealthy activities, that may subsidize health investments, can be used to restore the social optimum. Finally, our model is consistent with the existence of regional asymmetries regarding the prevalence of obesity and NCDs.

Keywords: Social transmission; Health capital; Chronic diseases and obesity; Social transmission. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012-04-23
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea
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Working Paper: Intergenerational transmission of non-communicable chronic diseases (2011) Downloads
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