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An empirical investigation of heterogeneity in time preferences and smoking behaviors

  • Grignon, Michel

In this study I exploit the findings of a population survey in which I had the opportunity to introduce questions on time preferences. The study uses retrospective data to estimate the relationship between present-biased preferences and the decisions to start and quit smoking. Respondents stating present-biased preferences are not more prone to start smoking but quit later in life, and after more failed attempts. These preliminary results strongly suggest that smokers form a heterogeneous population and it can be argued that such heterogeneity means that taxes on cigarettes are a blunt and inefficient instrument of public health.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).

Volume (Year): 38 (2009)
Issue (Month): 5 (October)
Pages: 739-751

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Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:38:y:2009:i:5:p:739-751
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