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Taxes, Cigarette Consumption and Smoking Intensity

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Author Info

  • Adda, Jérôme

    ()
    (European University Institute)

  • Cornaglia, Francesca

    ()
    (Queen Mary, University of London)

Abstract

This paper analyses the compensatory behavior of smokers. Exploiting data on cotinine concentration – a metabolite of nicotine – measured in a large population of smokers over time, we show that smokers compensate tax hikes by extracting more nicotine per cigarette. Our study makes two important contributions. First, as smoking more intensively a given cigarette is detrimental to health, our results question the usefulness of tax increases. Second, we develop a model of rational addiction where agents can also adjust their intensity of smoking and we show that the previous empirical results suffer from severe estimation biases.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1849.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: American Economic Review, 2006, 96 (4), 1013-1028
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1849

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Keywords: smoking; cigarettes; addiction; taxes;

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References

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  1. Philip DeCicca & Donald Kenkel & Alan Mathios, 2002. "Putting Out the Fires: Will Higher Taxes Reduce the Onset of Youth Smoking?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(1), pages 144-169, February.
  2. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1988. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 675-700, August.
  3. Gary S. Becker & Michael Grossman & Kevin M. Murphy, 1990. "An Empirical Analysis of Cigarette Addiction," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 61, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  4. Frank J. Chaloupka, 1990. "Rational Addictive Behavior and Cigarette Smoking," NBER Working Papers 3268, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Jonathan Gruber & Botond Koszegi, 2000. "Is Addiction "Rational"? Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7507, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Chaloupka, Frank J. & Warner, Kenneth E., 2000. "The economics of smoking," Handbook of Health Economics, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 29, pages 1539-1627 Elsevier.
  7. Adda, Jérôme & Cornaglia, Francesca, 2006. "The Effect of Taxes and Bans on Passive Smoking," IZA Discussion Papers 2191, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Jonathan Gruber & Botond Köszegi, 2001. "Is Addiction "Rational"? Theory And Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1261-1303, November.
  9. William N. Evans & Matthew C. Farrelly, 1998. "The Compensating Behavior of Smokers: Taxes, Tar, and Nicotine," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(3), pages 578-595, Autumn.
  10. M.C. Farrelly & C.T. Nimsch & A. Hyland & M. Cummings, 2004. "The effects of higher cigarette prices on tar and nicotine consumption in a cohort of adult smokers," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(1), pages 49-58.
  11. Harris, Jeffrey E, 1980. "Taxing Tar and Nicotine," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 300-311, June.
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