Tobacco Use as Response to Economic Insecurity: Evidence from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth
AbstractEmerging evidence from neuroscience and clinical research suggests a novel hypothesis about tobacco use: consumers may choose to smoke, in part, as a "self-medicating" response to the presence of economic insecurity. To test this hypothesis, we examine the effect of economic insecurity (roughly, the risk of catastrophic income loss) on the smoking behavior of a sample of male working-age smokers from the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY79). Using instrumental variables to control for unobserved heterogeneity, we find that economic insecurity has a large and statistically significant positive effect on the decision to continue or resume smoking. Our results indicate, for example, that a 1 percent increase in the probability of becoming unemployed causes an individual to be 2.4 percent more likely to continue smoking. We find that the explanatory power of economic insecurity in predicting tobacco use is comparable to (but distinct from) household income, a more commonly used metric.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy.
Volume (Year): 9 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
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Web page: http://www.degruyter.com
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
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- I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Production
- I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
- I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
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- Trenton Smith, 2009.
"Reconciling psychology with economics: Obesity, behavioral biology, and rational overeating,"
Journal of Bioeconomics,
Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 249-282, December.
- Trenton Smith, 2006. "Reconciling Psychology with Economics - Obesity, Behavioral Biology, and Rational Overeating," Working Papers 2006-4, School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University.
- Yu-Fu Chen & Dennis Petrie, 2012. "When to Quit Under Uncertainty? A real options approach to smoking cessation," Dundee Discussion Papers in Economics 272, Economic Studies, University of Dundee.
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