The Behavioral Dynamics of Youth Smoking
Individual smoking behavior persists over time, but is this repeated behavior attributed to past use or individual heterogeneity? Using longitudinal data on teens from all 50 United States from 1988 to 1992, we find a significant causal role for endogenous past cigarette consumption even after controlling extensively for observed and unobserved heterogeneity. We also find measurable evidence of different sensitivities to cigarette price depending on past use. These two findings suggest that a cigarette price increase will have a larger aggregate effect in the long run than in the short run as more individuals accumulate in the price-sensitive nonsmoking group.
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