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Cigarette taxes and youth smoking: New evidence from national, state, and local Youth Risk Behavior Surveys

  • Carpenter, Christopher
  • Cook, Philip J.

Several studies have examined the effects of state cigarette tax increases on youth substance use over the 1990s, with most - but not all - finding that higher taxes reduce youth consumption of tobacco. We advance the literature by using data from the 1991 to 2005 waves of the national Youth Risk Behavior Surveys (YRBS), providing information on over 100,000 high school age youths. We also are the first to make use of hundreds of independently fielded state and local versions of the YRBS, reflecting data from over 750,000 youths. Importantly, these data are to our knowledge the only sources of relevant information on youth smoking that were explicitly designed to be representative of the sampled state or locality. We estimate two-way fixed effects models of the effect of state cigarette taxes on youth smoking, controlling for survey demographics and area and year fixed effects. Our most consistent finding is that - contrary to some recent research - the large state tobacco tax increases of the past 15 years were associated with significant reductions in smoking participation and frequent smoking by youths. Our price elasticity estimates for smoking participation by high school youths are generally smaller than previous cross-sectional approaches but are similar to recent quasi-experimental estimates.

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

Volume (Year): 27 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 287-299

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:27:y:2008:i:2:p:287-299
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

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  1. Keeler, Theodore E. & Hu, Teh-wei & Barnett, Paul G. & Manning, Willard G. & Sung, Hai-Yen, 1996. "Do cigarette producers price-discriminate by state? An empirical analysis of local cigarette pricing and taxation," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 499-512, August.
  2. Jonathan Gruber & Jonathan Zinman, 2001. "Youth Smoking in the United States: Evidence and Implications," NBER Chapters, in: Risky Behavior among Youths: An Economic Analysis, pages 69-120 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Lewit, Eugene M & Coate, Douglas & Grossman, Michael, 1981. "The Effects of Government Regulation on Teenage Smoking," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 545-69, December.
  4. Frank A. Sloan & Justin G. Trogdon, 2004. "The impact of the master settlement agreement on cigarette consumption," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(4), pages 843-855.
  5. Lisa M. Powell & Frank J. Chaloupka, 2005. "Parents, public policy, and youth smoking," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(1), pages 93-112.
  6. Frank J. Chaloupka & Kenneth E. Warner, 1999. "The Economics of Smoking," NBER Working Papers 7047, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Philip DeCicca & Donald Kenkel & Alan Mathios & Yoon-Jeong Shin & Jae-Young Lim, 2008. "Youth smoking, cigarette prices, and anti-smoking sentiment," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(6), pages 733-749.
  8. Dee, Thomas S., 1999. "The complementarity of teen smoking and drinking," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 769-793, December.
  9. Philip DeCicca & Donald Kenkel & Alan Mathios, 2002. "Putting Out the Fires: Will Higher Taxes Reduce the Onset of Youth Smoking?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(1), pages 144-169, February.
  10. Frank J. Chaloupka & Michael Grossman, 1996. "Price, Tobacco Control Policies and Youth Smoking," NBER Working Papers 5740, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Brian Krauth, 2003. "Peer effects and selection effects in youth smoking," Computing in Economics and Finance 2003 222, Society for Computational Economics.
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