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Don't give up on me baby: Spousal correlation in smoking behaviour

  • Clark, Andrew E.
  • Etile, Fabrice

We use nine waves of BHPS data to examine interactions between spouses in terms of a behaviour with important health repercussions: cigarette smoking. Partners' behaviours may be correlated due to matching in the marriage market, bargaining within marriage, or information revealed by others' behaviour. Simple probit and bivariate probits reveal a positive correlation between partners' smoking participation, which is consistent with both matching and bargaining. Controlling for fixed effects allows us to distinguish between opposing interpretations. In our preferred specification, a bivariate probit with random effects, partners' behaviours are statistically independent: all of the correlation in smoking status works through the correlation in individual fixed effects. As such, we believe that the correlation in the raw smoking data reflects matching on the marriage market, rather than bargaining within the couple.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 25 (2006)
Issue (Month): 5 (September)
Pages: 958-978

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:25:y:2006:i:5:p:958-978
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

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