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Smoking bans, maternal smoking and birth outcomes

  • Bharadwaj, Prashant
  • Johnsen, Julian V.
  • Løken, Katrine V.

An important externality of smoking is the harm it might cause to those who do not smoke. This paper examines the impact on birth outcomes of children of female workers who are affected by smoking bans in the workplace. Analyzing a 2004 law change in Norway that extended smoking restrictions to bars and restaurants, we find that children of female workers in restaurants and bars born after the law change saw significantly lower rates of being born below the very low birth weight (VLBW) threshold and were less likely to be born pre-term. We do not find an effect of the ban along other birth outcomes like APGAR scores and birth defects. Using detailed data on smoking status during pregnancy we find that most of the health benefits come from changes in smoking behavior of the mother. Using individual tax data, we find that the law change did not result in changes in earnings or employment opportunities for those affected, suggesting that the effects seen are likely a direct result of changes in smoke exposure in utero.

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

Volume (Year): 115 (2014)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 72-93

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:115:y:2014:i:c:p:72-93
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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  1. Manudeep Bhuller & Magne Mogstad & Kjell G.Salvanes, 2011. "Life-cycle bias and the returns to schooling in current and lifetime earnings," Discussion Papers 666, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  2. Silke Anger & Michael Kvasnicka & Thomas Siedler, 2010. "One Last Puff?: Public Smoking Bans and Smoking Behavior," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 992, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  3. Almond, Douglas & Currie, Janet, 2011. "Human Capital Development before Age Five," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
  4. Jérôme Adda & Francesca Cornaglia, 2010. "The Effect of Bans and Taxes on Passive Smoking," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 1-32, January.
  5. Michael R. Pakko, 2005. "The economics of smoking bans: peering through the haze," The Regional Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 12-13.
  6. Hans Melberg & Karl Lund, 2012. "Do smoke-free laws affect revenues in pubs and restaurants?," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 93-99, February.
  7. Matthew C. Farrelly & William N. Evans & Edward Montgomery, 1999. "Do Workplace Smoking Bans Reduce Smoking?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 728-747, September.
  8. Adams Scott & Cotti Chad D., 2007. "The Effect of Smoking Bans on Bars and Restaurants: An Analysis of Changes in Employment," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-34, February.
  9. David Simon, 2013. "Does Early Life Exposure to Cigarette Smoke Permanently Harm Childhood Health? Evidence from Cigarette Tax Hikes," Working papers 2013-21, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  10. Sargent, R P & Shepard, R M & Glantz, Stanton A. Ph.D., 2004. "Reduced incidence of admissions for myocardial infarction associated with public smoking ban: before and after study," University of California at San Francisco, Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education qt3276d6r6, Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, UC San Francisco.
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