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

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  • Silvia Balia
  • Andrew M. Jones

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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Suggested Citation

  • Silvia Balia & Andrew M. Jones, 2011. "Catching the habit: a study of inequality of opportunity in smoking‐related mortality," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 174(1), pages 175-194, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jorssa:v:174:y:2011:i:1:p:175-194
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1467-985X.2010.00654.x
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    Cited by:

    1. Silvia Balia, 2014. "Survival expectations, subjective health and smoking: evidence from SHARE," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 47(2), pages 753-780, September.
    2. Kjellsson, Gustav, 2014. "Extending Decomposition Analysis to Account for Socioeconomic Background: Income-Related Smoking Inequality among Swedish Women," Working Papers 2014:29, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    3. Pilar García‐Gómez & Erik Schokkaert & Tom Van Ourti & Teresa Bago d'Uva, 2015. "Inequity in the Face of Death," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(10), pages 1348-1367, October.
    4. Florence Jusot & Sandy Tubeuf & Alain Trannoy, 2012. "Les différences d'état de santé en France : inégalités des chances ou reflet des comportements à risques ?," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 455(1), pages 37-51.
    5. repec:dau:papers:123456789/14335 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Andrew Jones & Nigel Rice & Pedro Rosa Dias, 2012. "Quality of schooling and inequality of opportunity in health," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 42(2), pages 369-394, April.
    7. Ma, Chao & Song, Ze & Sun, Xuhui & Zhao, Guangchuan, 2015. "Will Low-Income Populations Love Spicy Foods More? Accounting for Tastes," MPRA Paper 68415, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Damien Bricard & Florence Jusot & François Beck & Myriam Khlat & Stéphane Legleye, 2014. "L’évolution des inégalités sociales de tabagisme au cours du cycle de vie : une analyse selon la cohorte et le genre," Post-Print hal-01523920, HAL.
    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.
    10. Amin, Vikesh & Lhila, Aparna, 2016. "Decomposing racial differences in adolescent smoking in the U.S," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 161-176.
    11. Damien Bricard & Florence Jusot & François Beck & Myriam Khlat & Stéphane Legleye, 2016. "Educational inequalities in smoking over the life cycle: an analysis by cohort and gender," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 61(1), pages 101-109, January.
    12. Howdon, Daniel & Jones, Andrew M., 2015. "A discrete latent factor model for smoking, cancer and mortality," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 18(C), pages 57-73.
    13. 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).
    14. 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.
    15. repec:dau:papers:123456789/11292 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Silvia Balia & Rinaldo Brau, 2014. "A Country For Old Men? Long‐Term Home Care Utilization In Europe," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(10), pages 1185-1212, October.
    17. repec:col:000174:015710 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Andrew Jones & John Roemer & Pedro Rosa Dias, 2014. "Equalising opportunities in health through educational policy," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 43(3), pages 521-545, October.
    19. Ma, Chao & Gu, Hai & Han, Jianyu, 2013. "我国健康服务利用的机会不平等研究:基于chns2009 数据的实证分析
      [A Study on the Inequality of Opportunity in Health Care Utilization:Evidence from CHNS 2009]
      ," MPRA Paper 53765, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. 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.
    21. repec:lde:journl:y:2017:i:87:p:125-164 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Duration analysis ; Inequality of opportunity ; Latent factors ; Mortality ; Smoking ;

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • C10 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - General
    • C41 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Duration Analysis; Optimal Timing Strategies

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