The concept of microeconomics is based on the behavioral tendencies practiced by individuals in making of critical decisions (Besanko, 2010, p. 44). Krugman (2004, p. 3) adds that critical in microeconomics is how individuals and small organizations make decisions concerned with management of limited or scarce resources. There are several types of microeconomic concepts and principles. While some are related with management of business, others are related on management of home affairs, especially concerned with welfares and development of homes. Critical in these microeconomic principles are: the household model principle, the common property resources principle, the consumer and producer surplus principle, and the elasticity principle.
These principles offer critical insights on decisions that are made by individuals in homes, and how they affect general home welfare. As written by Arnold (2013, p. 194), some issues that emerge in these microeconomic principles concern behaviors and decisions made by the head of the family, and how such affects the health and development of the family members. Adding on this, McEachern (2013, p. 288) notes that one foremost issue in microeconomics related to management of homes is seeking for loans to build houses as well as buying of new cars using credit. However, modern microeconomics has included health issues in the family as part and parcel of critical decisions that are made in homes. In this paper, the focus is on the microeconomics that directly or indirectly affects health, and specifically, is related to the fact that China today faces lots of obesity issues in children. More so, it focuses on emerging issue that the kids affected by obesity in China are those from affluent homes; as opposed to poor homesteads.
Childhood Obesity in China: A Rich Kid’s Problem
In the world, it is generally known that obesity is a problem related to poor households and general lack of good food. It is not common to have kids hailing from rich households being associated with malnutrition kind of diseases; for example obesity. Countries that are rated to have high levels of obesity amongst kids are also the poor countries and especially those where assistance levels are high. It is therefore on this basis that Cunfu (30th October, 2014, Para 1-23) seek to give a contradicting piece of writing, where, obesity problems are found in rich households. In the article, it is noted that in China, obesity and other related diseases are not only found amongst poor kids; rather, it is also prevalent in rich kids. Cunfu (30th October, 2014, Para 1-23) terms this as “disease of affluence.”
There are several facets of this article. Ferrante (2014, p. 321), difference of lifestyles in the world have given rise to such kinds of diseases, and most of them are non-communicable diseases. Specifically points to a fact that most of these kinds of diseases are found in developed nations (Bender, 2002, p. 193). Therefore, China, just like other developed nations, is at risk of having diseases of affluence. China’s diseases of affluence include obesity, diabetes, and arterial inflammation amongst other diseases.
Microeconomic principles: Relation with the article
Unhealthy eating and other lifestyle problems are mostly found amongst affluent families (Reisman, 2009, p. 252). Examples of lifestyle problems associated with rich people include; overeating, high reliance with easy transportation, and sedentary lifestyle. Rowley (2004, p. 329) notes that most of these problems are as a result of choice. Essentially, everyone wants to have his or her standards of living going up. However, as a matter of choice, such a person must choose whether to live healthy or not. The rich families especially in developed nations lack microeconomic efficiency. Merson (2005, p. 518) defines microeconomic deficiency as the focus on achieving high level efficiency using existing resources. The rich families do not have problems of resources, hence, utmost utilization highly lacks.
Several microeconomic principles related to management of homes focus on diseases and other lifestyle problems that negate from the concept of microeconomic efficiency. The following discussion looks at microeconomic principles related with the problem of Obesity and other health problems in China affecting rich families.
The principle of externality is based on the benefits or costs that touch parties that did not intend to be affected by the cost or the benefit. Gottheil (2013, p. 332) defines externalities in relation to microeconomics as unintended benefits and/or costs. People who are unsuspecting get to be affected by a benefit or a cost, and in most cases, such parties or people have no intention of being affected. While this is mostly related to manufacturing of goods and services, this concept is applicable in homes, especially in relation to lifestyle problems. As noted by Sexton (2013, p. 432), externalities can bring about a network of people being affected.
In the story by Cunfu (30th October, 2014, Para 1-23), the lifestyle problems noted in China, led by obesity are as a result of parents adopting lifestyles that are negative for the kids. The kids are oblivious of problems that may come as a result of overeating, or not doing enough exercises. To the kids, what the parents choose for them is good, and they do not have means of objecting choices made by their parents. In this relation therefore, the concept of externality is applicable. This concept is mostly related with negatives. The costs that are passed onto the children of rich kids in China are detrimental. However, these are unavoidable to the kids as far as the parents continue with bad lifestyles. The solutions to the problems encountered by the rich kids in China can only be done by the parents and the society at large. If the society was to discard the means and ways destroying the kids, the kids will only follow suit. Such problems as obesity and diabetes will not occur.
The Household Model
The household model of microeconomics posits that each behavior in households affects highly the outcome in families (Bardhan, 1999, p. 56). This concept is related with labor supply, savings in the family and nature of consumptions. It is part of microeconomics that is related with household tendencies and behaviors. Households are different from one another. On the same, Yen (Jan 1997, p. 246-251) writes that recipients of any household activity are mostly those whose dependence is on the actors; for example, kids are major recipients of decisions that are made by the parents. In relation to microeconomics, failure to handle critical financial issues in the house affects parties such as kids.
As noted in the article, the problems in China are not the same as those in United States. The levels of obesity, diabetes and other lifestyle problems are high in China as compared to United States and other western nations. This is to mean that Chinese culture and parenthood are not keen to effects of bad household decisions such as lack of balanced diet amongst kids.
Elasticity is concerned with demand and supply of goods and services. In microeconomics, various behaviors of people and small organizations in the competitive market can have adverse or positive effect in the economic outcome. According to Frank (2003, p. 98), some behaviors in homes are elastic while others are inelastic. For example, it is generally assumed that good income will directly result to good health. This may be opposite, as in China, good income in affluent families lead to lifestyle problems such as obesity. A common issue in elasticity concept as related to microeconomics in homes is the consumer irrationality and budget constraints. Writing on this, Gwartney (2002, p. 62) notes that irrationalities in eating and levels of budget affect household eating, and this differentiation is a major cause for lifestyle related problems.
Common Property/Pool Resources
By dentition, Common pool resource is a kind of good with characteristics making it costly but accessible or not impossible (Stevenson, 2005, p. 69). These goods are made costly so as to have some people, or groups of people not access them or benefit from them. They are not public good. According to Marothia (2002, p. 701), such goods can also be in form of service, where, their social arrangement regulates usage, are rivalrous but not excludable. This is highly related to management of lifestyles and behaviors in homes. Some services and goods, and especially in form of food items are developed in such a way that only selected people can access them. The common goods are mostly public, but they are designed in a way that very few people are meant to access them. For example, items such as fish in fish ponds are non-excludable, but cannot easily be accessed by common people, making it difficult for the poor to access them.
In relation to the story, though some Chinese families can access some of these foods and goods, they still misuse them, subjecting the kids to some non-communicable and lifestyle problems such as diabetes and obesity. It becomes critical for families, whether rich or poor to apply microeconomics, by only organizing food stuffs that are beneficial, but are within financial reach. For rich families, neglecting some issues, while adopting some modern lifestyles can only lead to health hazards to those without chance of choice; for example, kids.
Consumer and Producer Surplus
In economics, consumer surplus is the variation between the amount consumers are able and willing to give for a service or a good and the amount they pay. The producer surplus is the variation between what the producers are able and willing to give to the market and the price they receive for the service or good. As written by Carbaugh (2008, p. 122), market prices are critical in determining the consumer surplus and the producer surplus. On the same, Motta (2004, p. 18), any increase on the price of a good in the market will have a direct impact on consumption and production. This is very essential in determining movement of goods and services in the market.
There is indirect relation between these microeconomic concepts with the article on obesity in China. Rich families in China are thought to access important goods and services in the market that have direct impact on health of the family members. However, it is clear that despite the ability to access these services, and the willingness lacks, the consumer surplus is huge. For example, the rich families can afford quality foods in the market which will bring about balanced diets in the foods, but the foods bought for the kids are substandard and not healthy, leading to problems such as obesity. It is part of microeconomic deficiency.
Microeconomics requires individuals and small organizations to behave in manners that will benefit them financially. These behaviors are in the competitive market and in households. In competitive markets, various microeconomics concepts are designs to define the nature of behaviors relevant in impacting individuals and organizations to benefit them. Some of the behaviors in the market however bring about negative impact to the individuals and the organizations. Focus has shifted from the competitive market to homes, where, some microeconomic principles are applied to define negative and positive impacts of some behavioral tendencies of family members. In this paper, the focus is on how some microeconomic principles are related to an article putting China as a country whose rich kids are affected by lifestyle problems such as obesity.
Several microeconomic principles are applicable to explain the problem of rich kids being affected by lifestyle problems such as diabetes and obesity, as opposed to the norm that obesity is a disease that is associated with poor households. Example of such microeconomic principles includes; the household model principle, the common property resources principle, the consumer and producer surplus principle, and the elasticity principle. In all of these principles, the common outcome is the misuse of the ability for the rich families to access healthy foods, and instead, opting to look for modern lifestyles that end up destroying the health of their kids. In this article, the management of economics is brought to the house and how behaviors ought to be measured for the sake of sustaining healthy environments and comfortable living.
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