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Does smoking have a causal effect on weight reduction?

  • Zhuo Chen


  • Steven Yen


  • David Eastwood


This study examines the relationship between smoking and body mass index (BMI) with a simultaneous equations system allowing for censoring and endogeneity of the number of cigarettes smoked, which alleviates simultaneity bias caused by unobserved heterogeneity and expansion bias by censoring in the regressor. The results suggest smoking may not have a strong long-term causal effect on body weight after controlling for the endogeneity. The negative relationship between smoking and BMI reported in the literature is potentially attributable to the aforementioned biases and should be interpreted with caution. The statistical procedure developed can be useful in other applications with a censored endogenous regressor. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Family and Economic Issues.

Volume (Year): 28 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 49-67

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jfamec:v:28:y:2007:i:1:p:49-67
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  1. Kan, Kamhon & Tsai, Wei-Der, 2004. "Obesity and risk knowledge," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 907-934, September.
  2. Rodolfo Nayga, 2000. "Schooling, health knowledge and obesity," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(7), pages 815-822.
  3. White, Halbert, 1982. "Maximum Likelihood Estimation of Misspecified Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 1-25, January.
  4. Chou, Shin-Yi & Grossman, Michael & Saffer, Henry, 2004. "An economic analysis of adult obesity: results from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 565-587, May.
  5. Zhuo Chen & Steven T. Yen & David B. Eastwood, 2005. "Effects of Food Stamp Participation on Body Weight and Obesity," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(5), pages 1167-1173.
  6. Andrew M. Jones, 2012. "health econometrics," The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Palgrave Macmillan.
  7. Steven T. Yen, 2005. "A Multivariate Sample-Selection Model: Estimating Cigarette and Alcohol Demands with Zero Observations," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(2), pages 453-466.
  8. Rigobon, Roberto & Stoker, Thomas M., 2004. "Censored Regressors and Expansion Bias," Working papers 4451-03, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  9. Vivian H. Hamilton & Philip Merrigan & Éric Dufresne, 1997. "Down and out: estimating the relationship between mental health and unemployment," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 6(4), pages 397-406.
  10. Steven Yen, 1999. "Gaussian versus count-data hurdle models: cigarette consumption by women in the US," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(2), pages 73-76.
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