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Peer Effects and Cigarette Use Among College Students

  • Jeffrey Wilson

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    This study adds to the collegiate substance use literature by measuring the magnitude of peer effects upon individual cigarette use. The study employs data from the 2001 Harvard School of Health College Alcohol Survey to construct this peer effect measure and to study the effect of other variables upon a university student’s decision to smoke. The main finding of this paper is that moving a student from a university where no students smoke to an institution where 25 percent of the population smokes increases that student’s probability of smoking by 10.71 percent. The results of this paper suggest the potential for universities to institute student-led, anti-smoking organizations. Copyright International Atlantic Economic Society 2007

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11293-007-9064-z
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    Article provided by International Atlantic Economic Society in its journal Atlantic Economic Journal.

    Volume (Year): 35 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 2 (June)
    Pages: 233-247

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    Handle: RePEc:kap:atlecj:v:35:y:2007:i:2:p:233-247
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    1. Chaloupka, Frank, 1991. "Rational Addictive Behavior and Cigarette Smoking," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 722-42, August.
    2. Lundborg, Petter, 2006. "Having the wrong friends? Peer effects in adolescent substance use," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 214-233, March.
    3. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1988. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 675-700, August.
    4. Edward C. Norton & Richard C. Lindrooth & Susan T. Ennett, 1998. "Controlling for the endogeneity of peer substance use on adolescent alcohol and tobacco use," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 7(5), pages 439-453.
    5. Powell, Lisa M. & Tauras, John A. & Ross, Hana, 2005. "The importance of peer effects, cigarette prices and tobacco control policies for youth smoking behavior," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 950-968, September.
    6. Manski, Charles F, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 531-42, July.
    7. Gary S. Becker & Michael Grossman & Kevin M. Murphy, 1990. "An Empirical Analysis of Cigarette Addiction," NBER Working Papers 3322, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Daiji Kawaguchi, 2004. "Peer effects on substance use among American teenagers," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 351-367, 06.
    9. Michael Kremer & Dan M. Levy, 2003. "Peer Effects and Alcohol Use Among College Students," NBER Working Papers 9876, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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