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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.
Games 2010, 1(4), 395-414;
Received: 23 July 2010 / Revised: 10 September 2010 / Accepted: 25 September 2010 / Published: 13 October 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Networks and Network Formation)
PDF [2001 KB, uploaded 13 October 2010]


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. View Full-Text
Keywords: obesity; history dependence; social interactions obesity; history dependence; social interactions

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Wirl, F.; Feichtinger, G. Modelling Social Dynamics (of Obesity) and Thresholds. Games 2010, 1, 395-414.

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