How Do Private Markets Address Smoking Externalities?
We survey bars and restaurants in Genesee County, Michigan to examine how, absent a smoking ban, different establishments accommodate smokers and nonsmokers. We find evidence that smokers and nonsmokers are systematically accommodated. The majority of establishments without bars voluntarily ban smoking, and the majority of establishments with bars restrict smoking to a separate room or to the bar area. This pattern of accommodation is consistent with what the Coase Theorem would predict when dealing with the externalities created by secondhand smoke.
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