Critical Finance Review > Vol 6 > Issue 1

Obesity and Household Financial Distress

Katherine Guthrie, Mason School of Business, College of William and Mary, USA, katherine.guthrie@mason.wm.edu Jan Sokolowsky, Society for Financial Studies, USA, sokolowsky.jan@gmail.com
 
Suggested Citation
Katherine Guthrie and Jan Sokolowsky (2017), "Obesity and Household Financial Distress", Critical Finance Review: Vol. 6: No. 1, pp 133-178. http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/104.00000034

Published: 27 Mar 2017
© 2017 K. Guthrie, and J. Sokolowsky
 
Subjects
 
Keywords
D12D14D91G00G19I19
Consumer creditCredit riskDelinquencyFinancial distressHousehold financeObesity
 

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In this article:
1. Motivation
2. Data & Methodology
3. Obesity is a Delinquency Risk Factor
4. What Are the Mechanisms Through Which Obesity Affects Delinquencies?
5. Conclusion and Discussion
6. The Distribution of Stock Ownership by Institutional Characteristics
References

Abstract

Obesity provides a potentially informative signal about individuals’ choices and preferences. Using National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) data, we estimate that debt delinquency is 20 percent higher among the obese than the non-obese after controlling for an extensive set of financial and economic credit risk factors. The economic significance of obesity for delinquencies is comparable to that of job displacements. Obesity is particularly informative about delinquencies among those with low credit risk. In terms of channels, we find that the conditional obesity effect is partially mediated through health, but is not attributable to individuals’ attitudes, time and risk preferences, or cognitive skills.

DOI:10.1561/104.00000034

Online Appendix | 104.00000034_app.pdf

This is the article's accompanying appendix.

DOI: 10.1561/104.00000034_app