Rising petrol prices might not be all bad, suggests economist Charles Courtemanche. In ‘A Silver Lining? The Connection between Gasoline Prices and Obesity’ Courtemanche presents evidence that increases in petrol prices may reduce obesity. Here’s the abstract:
I find evidence of a negative association between gasoline prices and body weight using a fixed effects model with several robustness checks. I also show that increases in gas prices are associated with additional walking and a reduction in the frequency with which people eat at restaurants, explaining their effect on weight. My estimates imply that 8% of the rise in obesity between 1979 and 2004 can be attributed to the concurrent drop in real gas prices, and that a permanent $1 increase in gasoline prices would reduce overweight and obesity in the U.S. by 7% and 10%.
An earlier version of the paper is available from SSRN: A Silver Lining? The Connection between Gasoline Prices and Obesity
Via: National Affairs