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Is Smoking Inferior? Evidence from Variation in the Earned Income Tax Credit

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  • Donald S. Kenkel
  • Maximilian D. Schmeiser
  • Carly J. Urban

Abstract

In this paper we estimate the causal income elasticity of smoking participation, cessation, and cigarette demand conditional upon participation. Using an instrumental variables (IV) estimation strategy we find that smoking appears to be a normal good among low-income adults: higher instrumented income is associated with an increase in the number of cigarettes consumed and a decrease in smoking cessation. The magnitude and direction of the changes in the income coefficients from our OLS to IV estimates are consistent with the hypothesis that correlational estimates between income and smoking related outcomes are biased by unobservable characteristics that differentiate higher income smokers from lower income smokers.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 20097.

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Date of creation: May 2014
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20097

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  1. Donald Kenkel & Dean Lillard & Alan Mathios, 2006. "The Roles of High School Completion and GED Receipt in Smoking and Obesity," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 635-660, July.
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  5. Philip DeCicca & Donald S. Kenkel & Alan D. Mathios & Yoon-Jeong Shin & Jae-Young Lim, 2006. "Youth Smoking, Cigarette Prices, and Anti-Smoking Sentiment," NBER Working Papers 12458, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  17. Rosemary J. Avery & Donald S. Kenkel & Dean R. Lillard & Alan D. Mathios, 2006. "Regulating Advertisements: The Case of Smoking Cessation Products," NBER Working Papers 12001, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  22. Maximilian D. Schmeiser, 2009. "Expanding wallets and waistlines: the impact of family income on the BMI of women and men eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(11), pages 1277-1294.
  23. Anna Aizer & Laura Stroud, 2010. "Education, Knowledge and the Evolution of Disparities in Health," NBER Working Papers 15840, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Dobkin, Carlos & Puller, Steven L., 2007. "The effects of government transfers on monthly cycles in drug abuse, hospitalization and mortality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(11-12), pages 2137-2157, December.
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