Thomas C. Leonard
Department of Economics
Princeton, NJ 08544
Information about this author at RePEc
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|April 2009||Can A Rational Choice Framework Make Sense of Anorexia Nervosa?|
with Robert S. Goldfarb, Sara Markowitz, Steven Suranovic: w14838
Can a rational choice modeling framework help broaden our understanding of anorexia nervosa? This question is interesting because anorexia nervosa is a serious health concern, and because of the following issue: could a rational choice approach shed useful light on a condition which appears to involve "choosing" to be ill? We present a model of weight choice and dieting applicable to anorexia nervosa, and the sometimes-associated purging behavior. We also present empirical evidence about factors possibly contributing to anorexia nervosa. We offer this analysis as a consciousness-raising way of thinking about the condition.