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Low Income and Poor Health Choices: The Example of Smoking


  • James Binkley


Low-income individuals often make relatively unhealthy consumption choices. In the case of food, this is often attributed to limited budgets. We investigate another possibility, motivated by the fact that smoking is more prevalent among those with low incomes, despite the cost. We develop a model in which income serves both as a budget constraint and as a source of future utility. We test the model by estimating logistic models of beginning and quitting smoking. We find support for the idea that low-income consumers make less healthy choices because they face lower costs in terms of forgone future utility. Copyright 2010, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • James Binkley, 2010. "Low Income and Poor Health Choices: The Example of Smoking," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 92(4), pages 972-984.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:92:y:2010:i:4:p:972-984

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Chen, Susan E. & Liu, Jing & Binkley, James K., 2012. "An Exploration of the Relationship Between Income and Eating Behavior," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 41(01), pages 82-91, April.
    2. Zasimova, Liudmila & Kossova, Elena & Ryazanova, Marina, 2014. "Understanding individual attitudes towards ban on smoking in public places," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 34(2), pages 95-119.
    3. Hu, Xiaowen & Stowe, C. Jill, 2013. "The Effect of Income on Health Choices: Alcohol Use," 2013 Annual Meeting, February 2-5, 2013, Orlando, Florida 143060, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    4. Alagsam, Fuad & Schieffer, Jack, 2016. "The Mindlessness and Mindfulness of Secondary Eating," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235644, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

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