The Effects of Spousal Health on the Decision to Smoke: Evidence on Consumption Externalities, Altruism and Learning Within the Household
Married individuals are healthier than single individuals though the reasons are not well understood. Individuals with spouses/or partners are less likely to smoke. We explore the relationship between health and marital status by analyzing three potential channels through which marriage affects smoking, i.e., consumption externalities (one spouse's smoking affects the other spouse's welfare), altruism (one spouse reduces smoking in response to the other spouse's bad health), and learning about risks of smoking from the health experience of one's spouse. We find spousal health does not affect smoking due to altruism or learning within the household but do find evidence for consumption externalities. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2006
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