The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Health Behaviours, Economics of

  • Donald S. Kenkel
Reference work entry


The economics of health behaviours concerns decisions about smoking, diet and exercise, drinking alcohol, and other consumer choices with important health consequences. The neoclassical model of the consumer and its extensions provide the theoretical framework for most economic research on health behaviours. More recently, behavioural economic models that incorporate insights from psychology have been proposed as alternative models of health behaviours, especially behaviours involving addiction. Empirical economic research on health behaviours is extensive, and explores both the determinants and consequences of health behaviours. Welfare economic analysis of health behaviours also provides useful, if sometimes controversial, guidance for public policy.


Addiction Alcohol consumption Excise taxes Exercise Health economics Health information Health production Obesity Smoking Time inconsistency 

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald S. Kenkel
    • 1
  1. 1.