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Factors influencing gender differences in smoking and their separate contributions: Evidence from South Korea

  • Chung, Woojin
  • Lim, Seungji
  • Lee, Sunmi
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    This paper explores gender differences in smoking using information on 15,277 adults obtained from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys of 2001 and 2005. Applying a decomposition approach extended from the Oaxaca-Blinder method, we obtained factors influencing gender differences in smoking and estimated their separate contributions. According to the outcomes of decomposition analyses, gender differences in smoking-tendency (or inclination to smoke) accounted for 98% of the total gender difference in smoking. When the gender difference in smoking was decomposed into specified factors, the difference in smoking-tendency between married men and women was found to be the most crucial factor as it explained 11% of the total gender difference in smoking. The gender difference in the proportion of persons attaining a low level of education contributed to a 6% reduction of the total gender difference in smoking. Additionally, factors influencing the gender-specific smoking-tendency were found to be important in explaining the gender difference in smoking. We conclude that, understanding separate contributions of sets of factors affecting gender differences in smoking and devising appropriate policies could effectively reduce the smoking rate of a target gender group to the level of that of a reference gender group.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 70 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 12 (June)
    Pages: 1966-1973

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:70:y:2010:i:12:p:1966-1973
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