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Catching the habit: a study of inequality of opportunity in smoking‐related mortality

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  • Silvia Balia
  • Andrew M. Jones

Abstract

This paper investigates inequality in smoking-related mortality risk, focusing on the intergenerational transmission of smoking. We estimate a latent factor model for smoking initiation, cessation and mortality risk using the British Health and Lifestyle Survey (HALS). The empirical analysis includes counterfactual simulations. The Gini coffcient for inequality in overall mortality risk, Sen's welfare index and generalised Lorenz curves are computed for the baseline model and for counterfactual scenarios that compare individual types that di®er in their circumstances and effort. Results confirm a clear socioeconomic gradient in smoking initiation and cessation as well as for mortality. Furthermore, we find that parental smoking behaviour plays an important role in smoking and indirectly affects mortality: it lowers the age at starting by about 2 years, increases smoking duration by about 12 years and lowers median lifespan by about 5 years. There is a large difference between current and never smokers in their median lifespan, which is exacerbated by parental smoking. Inequality in smoking-related mortality decreases if individuals adopt the best level of effort (not smoking) or, alternatively, if circumstances are favourable (parents are non-smokers). The health gain from not smoking (not attributable to parental smoking behaviour) is about 13 per cent in terms of mean survival probability and 5 per cent in terms of median predicted lifespan, a net gain of 3.4 years.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1467-985X.2010.00654.x
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Royal Statistical Society in its journal Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A (Statistics in Society).

Volume (Year): 174 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 175-194

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jorssa:v:174:y:2011:i:1:p:175-194

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Related research

Keywords: Duration analysis ; Inequality of opportunity ; Latent factors ; Mortality ; Smoking ;

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Cited by:
  1. Alain Trannoy & Sandy Tubeuf & Florence Jusot, 2012. "Les différences d'état de santé en France : inégalités des chances ou reflet des comportements à risques ?," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 455(1), pages 37-51.
  2. Jones, A; & Rice, N; & Rosa Dias, P;, 2010. "Quality of Schooling and Inequality of Opportunity in Health," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 10/22, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  3. Pilar Garcia-Gomez & Erik Schokkaert & Tom Van Ourti & Teresa Bago d'Uva, 2012. "Inequity in the Face of Death," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-084/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  4. FLEURBAEY, Marc & SCHOKKAERT, Erik, 2011. "Equity in health and health care," CORE Discussion Papers 2011026, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  5. S. Balia ;, 2011. "Survival expectations, subjective health and smoking: evidence from European countries," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 11/30, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  6. Kinge, Jonas Minet & Morris, Stephen, 2014. "Variation in the relationship between BMI and survival by socioeconomic status in Great Britain," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 12(C), pages 67-82.
  7. Pilar Garcia-Gomez & Erik Schokkaert & Tom Van Ourti & Teresa Bago d'Uva, 2012. "Inequity in the Face of Death," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-084/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  8. Sun, Jiawei & Ma, Chao & Song, Ze & Gu, Hai, 2013. "Inequality of Opportunity in Health Care in China: Suggestion on the Construction of the Urban-Rural Integrated Medical Insurance System," MPRA Paper 49389, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Howdon, D.;, 2012. "Time and chance happen to them all? Duration modelling versus lifetime incidence of cancer," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 12/06, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.

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