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Why Do Europeans Smoke More than Americans?

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  • David M. Cutler
  • Edward L. Glaeser

Abstract

While Americans are less healthy than Europeans along some dimensions (like obesity), Americans are significantly less likely to smoke than their European counterparts. This difference emerged in the 1970s and it is biggest among the most educated. The puzzle becomes larger once we account for cigarette prices and anti-smoking regulations, which are both higher in Europe. There is a nonmonotonic relationship between smoking and income; among richer countries and people, higher incomes are associated with less smoking. This can account for about one-fifth of the U.S./Europe difference. Almost one-half of the smoking difference appears to be the result of differences in beliefs about the health effects of smoking; Europeans are generally less likely to think that cigarette smoking is harmful.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12124.

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Date of creation: Mar 2006
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Publication status: published as David Wise (ed.) Developments in the Economics of Aging. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009..
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12124

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  1. David M. Cutler & Edward Glaeser, 2005. "What Explains Differences in Smoking, Drinking, and Other Health-Related Behaviors?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 238-242, May.
  2. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce I. Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 2002. "The Social Multiplier," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1968, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  3. William N. Evans & Matthew C. Farrelly & Edward Montgomery, 1996. "Do Workplace Smoking Bans Reduce Smoking?," NBER Working Papers 5567, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Frank J. Chaloupka, 1990. "Rational Addictive Behavior and Cigarette Smoking," NBER Working Papers 3268, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Becker, Gary S & Grossman, Michael & Murphy, Kevin M, 1994. "An Empirical Analysis of Cigarette Addiction," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 396-418, June.
  6. Akerlof, George A & Dickens, William T, 1982. "The Economic Consequences of Cognitive Dissonance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 307-19, June.
  7. Baltagi, Badi H & Levin, Dan, 1986. "Estimating Dynamic Demand for Cigarettes Using Panel Data: The Effects of Bootlegging, Taxation and Advertising Reconsidered," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(1), pages 148-55, February.
  8. Craig A. Gallet & John A. List, 2003. "Cigarette demand: a meta-analysis of elasticities," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(10), pages 821-835.
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As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Anarchy in the U.K.
    by noemail@noemail.org (noemail@noemail.org (Stephen J. Dubner) in Freakonomics on 2006-04-05 00:15:59
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Cited by:
  1. Anna Sanz de Galdeano, 2007. "An Economic Analysis of Obesity in Europe: Health, Medical Care and Absenteeism Costs," Working Papers 2007-38, FEDEA.
  2. Park, Cheolsung & Kang, Changhui, 2008. "Does education induce healthy lifestyle?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 1516-1531, December.
  3. Dimitris Christelis & Anna Sanz-de-Galdeano, 2010. "Smoking persistence in Europe: A semi-parametric panel data analysis with selectivity," Working Papers 2010_15, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
  4. Glaeser, Edward L. & Ujhelyi, Gergely, 2010. "Regulating misinformation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(3-4), pages 247-257, April.
  5. Pampel, Fred C. & Denney, Justin T. & Krueger, Patrick M., 2012. "Obesity, SES, and economic development: A test of the reversal hypothesis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(7), pages 1073-1081.
  6. Giorgio Brunello & Pierre-Carl Michaud & Anna Sanz-de-Galdeano, 2008. "The Rise in Obesity Across the Atlantic: An Economic Perspective," Working Papers 586, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  7. Fred Pampel & Justin Denney, 2011. "Cross-National Sources of Health Inequality: Education and Tobacco Use in the World Health Survey," Demography, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 653-674, May.
  8. Christelis, Dimitris & Sanz-de-Galdeano, Anna, 2011. "Smoking persistence across countries: A panel data analysis," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 1077-1093.
  9. Samuel H. Preston & Jessica Y. Ho, 2009. "Low Life Expectancy in the United States: Is the Health Care System at Fault?," NBER Working Papers 15213, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Christelis, Dimitris & Sanz-de-Galdeano, Anna, 2009. "Smoking Persistence Across Countries: An Analysis Using Semi-Parametric Dynamic Panel Data Models with Selectivity," IZA Discussion Papers 4336, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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