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Obesity, Cigarette Prices, Youth Access Laws, and Adolescent Smoking Initiation

  • John Cawley

    ()

    (Cornell University
    NBER)

  • Sara Markowitz

    (Rutgers University
    NBER)

  • John Tauras

    (University of Illinois at Chicago
    NBER)

This paper examines the role of body weight in smoking initiation by adolescents. We estimate discrete-time hazard models of the decision to initiate smoking using data from the Children of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1979 Cohort. We control for cigarette prices, tobacco control policies and socioeconomic factors. To avoid problems stemming from the endogeneity of body weight, we also estimate models using the method of instrumental variables. We find clear gender differences. Lighter girls are less likely to initiate smoking, while current weight is uncorrelated with initiation among boys. Among girls, smoking initiation is insensitive to cigarette prices, but among boys smoking initiation is negatively correlated with cigarette prices. These gender-specific differences may help explain the mixed evidence of the impact of price on smoking initiation found in previous literature.

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File URL: http://college.holycross.edu/RePEc/eej/Archive/Volume32/V32N1P149_170.pdf
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Article provided by Eastern Economic Association in its journal Eastern Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 32 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 (Winter)
Pages: 149-170

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Handle: RePEc:eej:eeconj:v:32:y:2006:i:1:p:149-170
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  1. John Cawley & Sara Markowitz & John Tauras, 2003. "Lighting Up and Slimming Down: The Effects of Body Weight and Cigarette Prices on Adolescent Smoking Initiation," NBER Working Papers 9561, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. J. A. Hausman, 1976. "Specification Tests in Econometrics," Working papers 185, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  3. Martin Forster & Andrew M. Jones, . "The role of tobacco taxes in starting and quitting smoking," Discussion Papers 00/51, Department of Economics, University of York.
  4. DeCicca, Philip & Kenkel, Donald & Mathios, Alan, 2000. "Putting Out The Fires: Will Higher Taxes Reduce Youth Smoking?," Working Papers 00-3, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
  5. Martin Forster & Andrew Jones, 2000. "The role of tobacco taxes in starting and quitting smoking: duration analysis of British data," Working Papers 176chedp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.
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