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Catching the habit: a study of inequality of opportunity in smoking-related mortality

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  • Balia S
  • Jones A.M

Abstract

This paper investigates inequality in smoking-related mortality risk, focusing on the intergenerational transmission of smoking. We estimate a latent factor model for smoking initiation, cessation and mortality risk using the British Health and Lifestyle Survey (HALS). The empirical analysis includes counterfactual simulations. The Gini coffcient for inequality in overall mortality risk, Sen's welfare index and generalised Lorenz curves are computed for the baseline model and for counterfactual scenarios that compare individual types that di®er in their circumstances and effort. Results confirm a clear socioeconomic gradient in smoking initiation and cessation as well as for mortality. Furthermore, we find that parental smoking behaviour plays an important role in smoking and indirectly affects mortality: it lowers the age at starting by about 2 years, increases smoking duration by about 12 years and lowers median lifespan by about 5 years. There is a large difference between current and never smokers in their median lifespan, which is exacerbated by parental smoking. Inequality in smoking-related mortality decreases if individuals adopt the best level of effort (not smoking) or, alternatively, if circumstances are favourable (parents are non-smokers). The health gain from not smoking (not attributable to parental smoking behaviour) is about 13 per cent in terms of mean survival probability and 5 per cent in terms of median predicted lifespan, a net gain of 3.4 years.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York in its series Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers with number 09/08.

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Date of creation: May 2009
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Handle: RePEc:yor:hectdg:09/08

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Postal: HEDG/HERC, Department of Economics and Related Studies, University of York, York, YO10 5DD, United Kingdom
Phone: (0)1904 323776
Fax: (0)1904 323759
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Web page: http://www.york.ac.uk/economics/postgrad/herc/hedg/
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Keywords: smoking; mortality; inequality of opportunity; duration analysis; latent factors;

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Cited by:
  1. Jones, A; & Rice, N; & Rosa Dias, P;, 2010. "Quality of Schooling and Inequality of Opportunity in Health," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 10/22, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  2. FLEURBAEY, Marc & SCHOKKAERT, Erik, 2011. "Equity in health and health care," CORE Discussion Papers 2011026, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  3. Jusot, Florence & Tubeuf, Sandy & Trannoy, Alain, 2013. "Les différences d'état de santé en France : inégalités des chances ou reflet des comportements à risques ?," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/11292, Paris Dauphine University.
  4. Howdon, D.;, 2012. "Time and chance happen to them all? Duration modelling versus lifetime incidence of cancer," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 12/06, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  5. Pilar Garcia-Gomez & Erik Schokkaert & Tom Van Ourti & Teresa Bago d'Uva, 2012. "Inequity in the Face of Death," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-084/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  6. GARCIA-GOMEZ, Pilar & SCHOKKAERT, Erik & VAN OURTI, Tom & BAGO D’UVA, Teresa, 2012. "Inequity in the face of death," CORE Discussion Papers 2012024, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  7. Sun, Jiawei & Ma, Chao & Song, Ze & Gu, Hai, 2013. "Inequality of Opportunity in Health Care in China: Suggestion on the Construction of the Urban-Rural Integrated Medical Insurance System," MPRA Paper 49389, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. S. Balia ;, 2011. "Survival expectations, subjective health and smoking: evidence from European countries," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 11/30, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  9. Kinge, Jonas Minet & Morris, Stephen, 2014. "Variation in the relationship between BMI and survival by socioeconomic status in Great Britain," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 12(C), pages 67-82.

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