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Economics Research International
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 135630, 13 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/135630
Research Article

Health Behaviour and Health Assessment: Evidence from German Microdata

Department of Law and Economics, Institute of Public Finance, University of Bayreuth, 95440 Bayreuth, Germany

Received 31 August 2011; Revised 3 November 2011; Accepted 4 November 2011

Academic Editor: Almas Heshmati

Copyright © 2012 Brit S. Schneider and Udo Schneider. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The importance of the individual’s health behaviour for the health production process is beyond controversy. Health relevant behaviour can be viewed as a key variable in the health production process. Changes in the behaviour may influence individual’s assessment of health. Following this idea, we use German microdata to identify determinants of smoking, drinking, and obesity and their impact on health. Our empirical approach allows for the simultaneity of behaviours and self-reported health. In addition, we account for endogeneity of health behaviours and take aspects of reporting heterogeneity of self-reported health into account. We find that health behaviour is directly related to the socioeconomic status and observe gender-specific differences in the determinants of drinking, smoking, and heavy body weight in particular. The influence on health is also gender specific. While we do not find any impact of smoking, overweight is relevant only for males and no clear pattern for alcohol exists.