Les politiques publiques de prévention du tabagisme face à l'hétérogénéité des agents
How should we evaluate public health policy when unobservable heterogeneities create not only differences in the intercept of the regression lines, but also differences in policy effects (i.e. slopes) ? This paper applies a method based on latent class models, to evaluate the impact of information-based policies on teenagers’ smoking behaviour. Using French epidemiological data, we find that young smokers may belong to two different groups. Light smokers cluster mostly in the first. In this group, school information does not affect individuals, but media information has the effect of a 6 % price increase. Experienced smokers are more likely to belong to the second group. Teenagers are insensitive to school or media information in this group, but information collected through peers has the same average effect as a 25 % price increase. Our results suggest that tobacco prevention at school, and more generally health education, should be based on peer support groups. Classification JEL : D11, D12, D6, D83, I12.
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