Author ORCID Identifier

Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Agricultural Economics

First Advisor

Dr. C. Jill Stowe


The low income population often appears to make poor health choices, including physical activity deficiency. Since outdoor physical activity does not have to be monetarily costly, one explanation for this phenomenon is related to the idea of time preference. Briefly, the benefit of future good health appears to be valued less by those with low income, and they face a choice between consumption today and better health in the future. The objective of this study is to further investigate the determinants of participation in physical activity with an emphasis on the effect of annual household income. This dissertation consists of three empirical studies. The first one utilizes data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey with a two step Heckman selection model. The second study conducts a Kentucky Exercise & Health Survey and applies a two part Cragg’s hurdle model. The third study employs panel data models on longitudinal data from China Health and Nutrition Survey. By utilizing the concept of time preferences, the results of empirical analysis show that income is positively related to the probability to participate in physical activity in both countries, while the prediction of the relationship between income and average time spent on physical activity remains ambiguous.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)