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

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  • David Simon

Abstract

Evidence suggests that excise taxes on tobacco improve fetal health. However, it remains unknown if smoke exposure in early life causes lasting harm to children. I find that in utero exposure to a dollar increase in the state cigarette tax causes a 10 percent decrease in sick days from school and a 4.7 percent decrease in having two or more doctor visits. I present additional evidence for decreases in hospitalizations and asthma. This supports the hypothesis that exposure to cigarette smoke in utero and infancy carries significant medium-term costs, and that excise taxes can lead to lasting intergenerational improvements in well-being.

Suggested Citation

  • David Simon, 2016. "Does Early Life Exposure to Cigarette Smoke Permanently Harm Childhood Welfare? Evidence from Cigarette Tax Hikes," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 128-159, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:8:y:2016:i:4:p:128-59
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.20150476
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies
    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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    1. Does Early Life Exposure to Cigarette Smoke Permanently Harm Childhood Welfare? Evidence from Cigarette Tax Hikes (American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 2016) in ReplicationWiki

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