Using data on medical expenditures and bodyweight from the National Health and Interview Survey and the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, we estimate that, in a health plan with a coinsurance rate of 17.5%, the obesity externality imposes a welfare cost of about $150 per capita. Our results also indicate that the welfare loss can be reduced by technological change that lowers the pecuniary and non-pecuniary costs of losing weight, and also by increasing the coinsurance rate.
Bhattacharya, J. and Sood, N. (2006), "Health Insurance and the Obesity Externality", Bolin, K. and Cawley, J. (Ed.) The Economics of Obesity (Advances in Health Economics and Health Services Research, Vol. 17), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 279-318. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0731-2199(06)17011-9Download as .RIS
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