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Does Early Life Exposure to Cigarette Smoke Permanently Harm Childhood Health? Evidence from Cigarette Tax Hikes

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Author Info

  • David Simon

    (University of Connecticut)

Abstract

Recent evidence suggests that smoking during pregnancy has adverse effects on fetal health. However, it remains unknown if smoke exposure causes lasting harm to health through childhood. To mitigate omitted variables bias, I exploit variation in cigarette taxes. By leveraging cigarette tax hikes, I shed light on the ability of these taxes to change health behavior in a way that improves long-term child outcomes. In-utero exposure to a tax hike leads to large and significant improvements to a child’s wellbeing. I find that a one dollar increase (in 2009 dollars) in the state cigarette excise tax causes a 10% decrease in sick days from school, and a 4.5% decrease in the likelihood of having two or more doctor visits in the past 12 months. I also find suggestive evidence that early life exposure to a cigarette tax hike decreases hospitalizations and asthma attacks. I find support for my identifying assumptions in a number of falsification tests. This study supports the hypothesis that that in-utero exposure to cigarette smoke caries significant medium-term costs.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Connecticut, Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 2013-21.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2013-21

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  1. Adda, Jérôme & Cornaglia, Francesca, 2005. "Taxes, Cigarette Consumption and Smoking Intensity," IZA Discussion Papers 1849, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Hilary W. Hoynes & Douglas L. Miller & David Simon, 2012. "Income, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and Infant Health," NBER Working Papers 18206, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Peter Nilsson, 2008. "Does a pint a day affect your child's pay? The effect of prenatal alcohol exposure on adult outcomes," CeMMAP working papers CWP22/08, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  4. Greg Coleman & Michael Grossman & Ted Joyce, 2002. "The Effect of Cigarette Excise Taxes on Smoking Before, During and After Pregnancy," NBER Working Papers 9245, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2003. "Healthy Living in Hard Times," IZA Discussion Papers 711, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Kevin Callison & Robert Kaestner, 2014. "Do Higher Tobacco Taxes Reduce Adult Smoking? New Evidence Of The Effect Of Recent Cigarette Tax Increases On Adult Smoking," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(1), pages 155-172, 01.
  7. Frank A. Sloan & Justin G. Trogdon, 2004. "The impact of the master settlement agreement on cigarette consumption," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(4), pages 843-855.
  8. DeCicca, Philip & McLeod, Logan, 2008. "Cigarette taxes and older adult smoking: Evidence from recent large tax increases," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 918-929, July.
  9. Alan Barreca, 2009. "The Long-Term Economic Impact of In Utero and Postnatal Exposure to Malaria," Working Papers 0905, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
  10. Janet Currie & Jonathan Gruber, 1995. "Health Insurance Eligibility, Utilization of Medical care, and Child Health," NBER Working Papers 5052, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  12. Carpenter, Christopher & Cook, Philip J., 2008. "Cigarette taxes and youth smoking: New evidence from national, state, and local Youth Risk Behavior Surveys," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 287-299, March.
  13. Marianne P. Bitler & Christopher Carpenter & Madeline Zavodny, 2009. "Effects of Venue-Specific State Clean Indoor Air Laws on Smoking-Related Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 15229, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Brachet, Tanguy, 2008. "Maternal Smoking, Misclassification, and Infant Health," MPRA Paper 21466, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  15. Hilary W. Hoynes & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach & Douglas Almond, 2012. "Long Run Impacts of Childhood Access to the Safety Net," NBER Working Papers 18535, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Ann Huff Stevens & Douglas L. Miller & Marianne E. Page & Mateusz Filipski, 2011. "The Best of Times, the Worst of Times: Understanding Pro-cyclical Mortality," NBER Working Papers 17657, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  1. #HEJC papers for October 2013
    by academichealtheconomists in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2013-09-30 23:30:26
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Cited by:
  1. Bharadwaj, Prashant & Johnsen, Julian V. & Løken, Katrine V., 2012. "Smoking Bans, Maternal Smoking and Birth Outcomes," Working Papers in Economics 17/12, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.

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