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The economic incidence of smoking laws


  • John Dunham
  • Michael Marlow


Although laws restricting smoking in restaurants are becoming commonplace, most research has focused on either the health benefits that laws may provide customers and workers or whether laws harm owners. But while smoking laws may directly alter profits, owners may alter prices, output, and other business attributes in ways that affect the welfare of customers and workers. This study examines whether restaurant and bar owners alter prices, entertainment, hours of operation and other business attributes in response to local smoking laws. Substantial support is found for these attribute changes in the Wisconsin hospitality industry. One implication is that an overall assessment of the desirability of smoking laws should consider economic effects imposed on owners, customers and workers, as well as health benefits that follow laws.

Suggested Citation

  • John Dunham & Michael Marlow, 2003. "The economic incidence of smoking laws," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(18), pages 1935-1942.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:35:y:2003:i:18:p:1935-1942
    DOI: 10.1080/00036840310001628765

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Boyes, William J & Marlow, Michael L, 1996. "The Public Demand for Smoking Bans," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 88(1-2), pages 57-67, July.
    2. Joe Kerkvliet, 1997. "A Randomized Response Approach to Dichotomous Choice Contingent Valuation," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(1), pages 252-266.
    3. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1994:84:7:1081-1085_6 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. J. Dunham & ML. Marlow, 2000. "Smoking laws and their differential effects on restaurants, bars, and taverns," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(3), pages 326-333, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bauer, Christian & Lingens, Jörg, 2009. "Smoking Bans in the Presence of Social Interaction," Discussion Papers in Economics 10593, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    2. Richard Thalheimer & Mukhtar M. Ali, 2008. "The Demand For Casino Gaming With Special Reference To A Smoking Ban," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 46(2), pages 273-282, April.
    3. Kvasnicka, Michael & Tauchmann, Harald, 2012. "Much ado about nothing? Smoking bans and Germany's hospitality industry," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 4539-4551.

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