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Modelling Social Dynamics (of Obesity) and Thresholds
University of Vienna, Brnnerstr. 72, Room 123, 1210 Vienna, Austria
Division for Population Economics, Vienna Institute for Demography, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Wohllebengasse 12-14, 1040 Vienna, Austria
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 July 2010; in revised form: 10 September 2010 / Accepted: 25 September 2010 / Published: 13 October 2010
Abstract: This paper focuses on the dynamic aspects of individual behavior affected by its social embedding, either at large (society-wide norms or averages) or at a local neighborhood. The emphasis is on how initial conditions can affect the long run outcome and to derive, discuss and apply the conditions for such thresholds. For this purpose, intertemporal social pressure (from peers, from norms, or from fashions) is modelled in two different ways: (i) individual benefit is influenced by the possession of a stock (in the application: weight) and the society wide average, and (ii) individual benefits depend on a norm that follows its own motion, of course driven by agents’ behavior. The topical issue of obesity serves as motivation and corresponding models and examples are presented and analyzed.
Keywords: obesity; history dependence; social interactions
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Wirl, F.; Feichtinger, G. Modelling Social Dynamics (of Obesity) and Thresholds. Games 2010, 1, 395-414.
Wirl F, Feichtinger G. Modelling Social Dynamics (of Obesity) and Thresholds. Games. 2010; 1(4):395-414.
Wirl, Franz; Feichtinger, Gustav. 2010. "Modelling Social Dynamics (of Obesity) and Thresholds." Games 1, no. 4: 395-414.