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Fundamentos para el análisis económico del tabaquismo: la utilidad marginal y los umbrales de asimilación

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  • Daniel Fuentes

    (Universidad de Zaragoza)

Abstract

La normativa vigente sobre el consumo de tabaco establece que «el derecho de la población no fumadora a respirar aire no contaminado por el humo del tabaco prevalece sobre el de las personas fumadoras» (Ley 28/2005). Aunque se prohíbe fumar en ciertos espacios se permite habilitar zonas para fumar en algunos de ellos y en particular «en cualquier lugar en el que, sin existir prohibición de fumar, su titular así lo decida» (Art. 8). La normativa define y reasigna el derecho de propiedad ambiental en favor de los no-fumadores. Desde este punto de vista, es relevante analizar la conveniencia social de maximizar la utilidad de una categoría de individuos sabiendo que esto requiere la exclusión de la otra categoría. En nuestro análisis consideramos que la capacidad de los individuos para tolerar el tabaco en el ambiente no sólo depende de cómo varíe su utilidad marginal (o desutilidad) sino también de los umbrales de consumo mínimo y de consumo óptimo que están dispuestos a tolerar o que desean realizar. Se obtiene una solución de tipo bang bang que oscila entre las situaciones de contaminación cero (exclusión de los fumadores) y de máximo consumo de tabaco (exclusión de los no-fumadores). En este caso el principio de equimarginalidad, paradigma del caso estándar de contaminación, conduce a una solución de segundo rango. También se muestra por qué puede resultar económicamente racional que en presencia de fumadores compulsivos los titulares de espacios privados opten voluntariamente por prohibir el consumo de tabaco.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Fuentes, 2009. "Fundamentos para el análisis económico del tabaquismo: la utilidad marginal y los umbrales de asimilación," Cuadernos de Economía - Spanish Journal of Economics and Finance, ELSEVIER, vol. 32(89), pages 059-082, Mayo-Agos.
  • Handle: RePEc:cud:journl:v:32:y:2009:i:89:p:059-082
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    derechos de propiedad; externalidades; contaminación; bienes comunes; tabaquismo;

    JEL classification:

    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities

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