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Broader versus closer social interactions in smoking

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  • Rosa Duarte
  • José-Julián Escario

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  • José-Alberto Molina

Abstract

In this paper, we examine the importance of two different peer effects as determinants in the adolescent’s decision whether or not to smoke. One is measured at the class level and the other reflects the smoking behaviour of the adolescent’s best friends. A nationally representative wave of Spanish data, collected in different state and private centres of secondary education and vocational training (14–18 years), and several linear probability models are used to estimate the role of peer effects. We find that a 10 % increase in the proportion of classmates is associated with a 3.6 points increment in the probability of smoking. Similarly, if the smoker’s friends go from “only some” to “the majority”, the probability of smoking increases by 39 points. Although both peer effects are significant if introduced separately, the class peer variable is not significant once the closer peer effect is introduced. Our work provides evidence to support the hypothesis that peer effects are important determinants of smoking among adolescents. This has implications for policy-makers, since the existence of peer effects would amplify the effects of interventions. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:minsoc:v:13:y:2014:i:2:p:183-194 DOI: 10.1007/s11299-013-0135-3
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    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.
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    3. Arcidiacono, Peter & Nicholson, Sean, 2005. "Peer effects in medical school," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 327-350.
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    8. 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.
    9. Charles F. Manski, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(3), pages 531-542.
    10. 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.
    11. Who, 2011. "WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic 2011: Warning about the dangers of tobacco," University of California at San Francisco, Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education qt5np8p434, Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, UC San Francisco.
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    13. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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