Catarina Goulão, and Emmanuel Thibault, Physical Activity and Policy Recommendations: a Social Multiplier Approach, IDEI Working Paper, n. 782, June 2013.


We look at the effects of physical activity (PA) recommendation policies by considering a social multiplier model in which individuals differ in their concern for PA. The government can either observe this concern (and implement the First Best) or not (and implement a uniform policy). Whichever the type of policy implemented, while the welfare of individuals the most concerned with PA increases in the social multiplier, the welfare of those the least concerned may decrease in it. For a sufficiently high social multiplier, both government interventions improve the welfare of those most concerned with PA but worsen the welfare of the least concerned individuals if they are not too many. However, compared to the First Best, a uniform recommendation improves the welfare of those most concerned with PA more than it reduces the welfare of those least concerned.


Physical Activity; Peer Effects; Long Term Care;

JEL codes

  • D62: Externalities
  • H11: Structure, Scope, and Performance of Government
  • I18: Government Policy • Regulation • Public Health