A Fast Literature Search Engine based on top-quality journals, by Dr. Mingze Gao.

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  • I study the economic value of obesity—a status symbol in poor countries associated with raised health risks. Randomizing decision-makers in Kampala, Uganda to view weight-manipulated portraits, I find that obesity is perceived as a reliable signal of wealth but not of beauty or health. Thus, leveraging a real-stakes experiment involving professional loan officers, I show that being obese facilitates access to credit. The large obesity premium, comparable to raising borrower self-reported earnings by over 60 percent, is driven by asymmetric information and drops significantly when providing more financial information. Notably, obesity benefits and wealth-signaling value are commonly overestimated, suggesting market distortions.

Last update from database: 4/21/24, 11:00 PM (AEST)


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