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Education, information, and smoking decisions : evidence from smoking histories, 1940-2000

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  • de Walque, Damien

Abstract

The author tests the hypothesis that education improves health and increases people's life expectancy. Smoking histories-reconstructed from retrospective data in the National Health Interview Surveys in the United States-show that after 1950, when information about the dangers associated with tobacco consumption started to diffuse, the prevalence of smoking declined earlier and most dramatically for college graduates. More educated individuals are also more likely to quit smoking: incidence analysis of smoking cessation shows a strong education effect. The instrumental variable approach, which relies on the fact that during the Vietnam War college attendance provided a strategy to avoid the draft, indicates that education does affect decisions about whether to smoke or stop smoking.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3362.

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Date of creation: 01 Jul 2004
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3362

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Related research

Keywords: Early Child and Children's Health; Public Health Promotion; Gender and Health; Health Monitoring&Evaluation; Disease Control&Prevention; Health Monitoring&Evaluation; Early Child and Children's Health; Adolescent Health; Gender and Health; Curriculum&Instruction;

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References

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  1. Kenkel, Donald S, 1991. "Health Behavior, Health Knowledge, and Schooling," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(2), pages 287-305, April.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Adda, Jérôme & Lechene, Valerie, 2011. "Health Selection and the Effect of Smoking on Mortality," IZA Discussion Papers 6206, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Chen, Keith & Lange, Fabian, 2008. "Education, Information, and Improved Health: Evidence from Breast Cancer Screening," IZA Discussion Papers 3548, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Franque Grimard & Daniel Parent, 2003. "Education and Smoking: Were Vietnam War Draft Avoiders Also More Likely to Avoid Smoking?," CIRANO Working Papers 2003s-44, CIRANO.
  4. Ingmar, SCHUMACHER, 2006. "On optimality, endogeneous discounting and wealth accumulation," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2006058, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
  5. Anderberg, Dan & Chevalier, Arnaud & Wadsworth, Jonathan, 2011. "Anatomy of a health scare: Education, income and the MMR controversy in the UK," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 515-530, May.
  6. David M. Cutler & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2012. "Education and Health: Insights from International Comparisons," NBER Working Papers 17738, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Daniela Iorio & Raül Santaeulàlia-Llopis, 2011. "Education, HIV Status, and Risky Sexual Behavior: How Much Does the Stage of the HIV Epidemic Matter?," Working Papers 624, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.

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