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Individual discount rates and smoking: Evidence from a field experiment in Denmark

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  • Harrison, Glenn W.
  • Lau, Morten I.
  • Rutström, E. Elisabet

Abstract

We elicit measures of individual discount rates from a representative sample of the Danish population and test two substantive hypotheses. The first hypothesis is that smokers have higher individual discount rates than non-smokers. The second hypothesis is that smokers are more likely to have time inconsistent preferences than non-smokers, where time inconsistency is indicated by a hyperbolic discounting function. We control for the concavity of the utility function in our estimates of individual discount rates and find that male smokers have significantly higher discount rates than male non-smokers. However, smoking has no significant association with discount rates among women. This result is robust across exponential and hyperbolic discounting functions. We consider the sensitivity of our conclusions to a statistical specification that allows each observation to potentially be generated by more than one latent data-generating process.

Suggested Citation

  • Harrison, Glenn W. & Lau, Morten I. & Rutström, E. Elisabet, 2010. "Individual discount rates and smoking: Evidence from a field experiment in Denmark," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 708-717, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:29:y:2010:i:5:p:708-717
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Glenn Harrison & E. Rutström, 2009. "Expected utility theory and prospect theory: one wedding and a decent funeral," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 12(2), pages 133-158, June.
    2. David K. Levine & Drew Fudenberg, 2006. "A Dual-Self Model of Impulse Control," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1449-1476, December.
    3. Glenn W. Harrison & Morten I. Lau & Melonie B. Williams, 2002. "Estimating Individual Discount Rates in Denmark: A Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1606-1617, December.
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    6. Glenn W. Harrison & Ronald M. Harstad & E. Elisabet Rutstr–m, 2004. "Experimental Methods and Elicitation of Values," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 7(2), pages 123-140, June.
    7. Steffen Andersen & Glenn W. Harrison & Morten I. Lau & E. Elisabet Rutström, 2008. "Eliciting Risk and Time Preferences," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(3), pages 583-618, May.
    8. Christopher Chabris & David Laibson & Carrie Morris & Jonathon Schuldt & Dmitry Taubinsky, 2008. "Individual laboratory-measured discount rates predict field behavior," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 237-269, December.
    9. repec:aph:ajpbhl:2002:92:6:984-989_8 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Glenn W. Harrison & Morten I. Lau & E. Elisabet Rutström, 2007. "Estimating Risk Attitudes in Denmark: A Field Experiment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 109(2), pages 341-368, June.
    11. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde & Juergen Schupp & Gert Wagner, 2005. "Individual Risk Attitudes: New Evidence from a Large, Representative, Experimentally-Validated Survey," Working Papers 2096, The Field Experiments Website.
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    15. Andersen, Steffen & Harrison, Glenn W. & Lau, Morten Igel & Rutström, E. Elisabet, 2010. "Preference heterogeneity in experiments: Comparing the field and laboratory," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 209-224, February.
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    19. Blondel, Serge & Loheac, Youenn & Rinaudo, Stephane, 2007. "Rationality and drug use: An experimental approach," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 643-658, May.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Eiji Yamamura, 2014. "Smokers’ Sexual Behavior and Their Satisfaction with Family Life," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 118(3), pages 1229-1247, September.
    2. Lynn Conell-Price & Julian Jamison, 2012. "Predicting health behaviors with economic preferences and perceived control," Working Papers 12-16, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    3. repec:eee:eecrev:v:97:y:2017:i:c:p:1-25 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Therese Grijalva & Jayson Lusk & W. Shaw, 2014. "Discounting the Distant Future: An Experimental Investigation," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 59(1), pages 39-63, September.
    5. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde, 2012. "Interpreting Time Horizon Effects in Inter-Temporal Choice," CESifo Working Paper Series 3750, CESifo Group Munich.
    6. Booij, Adam S. & Leuven, Edwin & Oosterbeek, Hessel, 2012. "The role of information in the take-up of student loans," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 33-44.
    7. Fossen, Frank M. & Glocker, Daniela, 2017. "Stated and revealed heterogeneous risk preferences in educational choice," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 1-25.
    8. Kaywana Raeburn & Jim Engle-Warnick & Sonia Laszlo, 2016. "Determinants of Food Consumption Choices: Experimental Evidence from St. Kitts," CIRANO Working Papers 2016s-43, CIRANO.
    9. Takahiro Miura, 2016. "The association between time preference and smoking behavior: A dynamic panel analysis," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 16-16, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
    10. Vasilios Kosteas, 2015. "Physical activity and time preference," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 361-386, December.
    11. Petrolia, Daniel R., 2016. "Risk preferences, risk perceptions, and risky food," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 37-48.
    12. Galizzi, Matteo M. & Machado, Sara R. & Miniaci, Raffaele, 2016. "Temporal stability, cross-validity, and external validity of risk preferences measures: experimental evidence from a UK representative sample," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 67554, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    13. Deckers, Thomas & Falk, Armin & Kosse, Fabian & Pinger, Pia & Schildberg-Hörisch, Hannah, 2017. "Socio-Economic Status and Inequalities in Children's IQ and Economic Preferences," IZA Discussion Papers 11158, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    14. Yamamura, Eiji, 2014. "Time preference and perceptions about government spending and tax: Smokers’ dependence on government support," MPRA Paper 55659, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Galizzi Matteo M. & Miraldo Marisa, 2017. "Are You What You Eat? Healthy Behaviour and Risk Preferences," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 17(1), pages 1-25, February.
    16. Basar, Dilek & Soytas, Mehmet A., 2018. "Can heterogeneity in reporting behavior explain the gender gap in self-assessed health status?," Economics Discussion Papers 2018-25, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    17. De Marchi, Elisa & Caputo, Vincenzina & Nayga, Rodolfo M. & Banterle, Alessandro, 2016. "Time preferences and food choices: Evidence from a choice experiment," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 99-109.
    18. Miraldo, M & Galizzi, M & Stavropoulou, C, 2013. "In sickness but not in wealth: Field evidence on patients’ risk preferences in the financial and health domain," Working Papers 31053, Imperial College, London, Imperial College Business School.
    19. Lin, Wanchuan & Liu, Yiming & Meng, Juanjuan, 2014. "The crowding-out effect of formal insurance on informal risk sharing: An experimental study," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 184-211.
    20. Hermann, Daniel & Musshoff, Oliver, 2016. "Measuring time preferences: Comparing methods and evaluating the magnitude effect," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 16-26.
    21. Finke, Michael S. & Huston, Sandra J., 2013. "Time preference and the importance of saving for retirement," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 23-34.
    22. repec:imp:wpaper:12579 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. Mastrobuoni, Giovanni & Rivers, David A., 2016. "Criminal Discount Factors and Deterrence," IZA Discussion Papers 9769, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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