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Are estimated peer effects on smoking robust? Evidence from adolescent students in Spain


  • R. Duarte


  • J. Escario


  • J. Molina



Adolescent smoking is one of the most pressing public health problems. The objective of this paper is to analyse the influence of peer pressure on adolescent cigarette consumption. More concretely, we explore the significance and robustness of the peer effects using several estimation methods employed in the existing literature. On the basis of the data provided by the 2004 Spanish survey on drug use in the school population, we estimate the probability of being a smoker by two-stage models. The results reveal that when we use standard errors used in the literature the class peer variable appears to be significant. However, the class peer variable is not significant when we calculate more exigent standard errors, a result that is robust across all specifications. The paper suggests the need for a more cautious interpretation of the peer effects found previously in the literature until a deeper analysis confirms the robustness of the peer effects. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Suggested Citation

  • R. Duarte & J. Escario & J. Molina, 2014. "Are estimated peer effects on smoking robust? Evidence from adolescent students in Spain," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 46(3), pages 1167-1179, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:empeco:v:46:y:2014:i:3:p:1167-1179 DOI: 10.1007/s00181-013-0704-7

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Krauth, Brian V., 2007. "Peer and Selection Effects on Youth Smoking in California," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 25, pages 288-298, July.
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    5. Clark, Andrew E. & Loheac, Youenn, 2007. ""It wasn't me, it was them!" Social influence in risky behavior by adolescents," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 763-784, July.
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    13. McVicar, Duncan, 2011. "Estimates of peer effects in adolescent smoking across twenty six European Countries," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(8), pages 1186-1193.
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    17. Rosa Duarte & Jose Julián Escario & José Alberto Molina, 2011. "Peer Effects, Unobserved Factors And Risk Behaviours In Adolescence," Revista de Economia Aplicada, Universidad de Zaragoza, Departamento de Estructura Economica y Economia Publica, vol. 19(1), pages 125-151, Spring.
    18. Foster, Gigi, 2006. "It's not your peers, and it's not your friends: Some progress toward understanding the educational peer effect mechanism," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1455-1475, September.
    19. Pierpaolo Pierani & Silvia Tiezzi, 2009. "Addiction and interaction between alcohol and tobacco consumption," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 1-23, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alfred Kechia Mukong, 2017. "Peer Networks and Tobacco Consumption in South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 85(3), pages 341-367, September.
    2. Ferrando-Latorre, Sandra, 2017. "Risky consumption and intergenerational mobility: a research program in a family context," MPRA Paper 79777, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Campaña, Juan Carlos, 2017. "¿Pueden llegar a ser adictivos los comportamientos juveniles sedentarios en el hogar? Un programa de investigación con respuestas conceptuales y evidencia empírica
      [Can sedentary youth behaviors be
      ," MPRA Paper 81401, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Rosa Duarte & José-Julián Escario & José-Alberto Molina, 2014. "Broader versus closer social interactions in smoking," Mind & Society: Cognitive Studies in Economics and Social Sciences, Springer;Fondazione Rosselli, vol. 13(2), pages 183-194, November.
    5. repec:kap:theord:v:83:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s11238-017-9625-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Ferrando, Sandra, 2017. "Risky consumption among adolescents: A survey for Spain," MPRA Paper 79465, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Ryota Nakamura & Marc Suhrcke & Daniel John Zizzo, 2017. "A triple test for behavioral economics models and public health policy," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 83(4), pages 513-533, December.

    More about this item


    Peer effects; Tobacco consumption; Adolescents ; Bootstrap; D71; I10; I12; I18;

    JEL classification:

    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health


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