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Education, Information and Smoking Decisions: Evidence from Smoking Histories in the United States, 1940–2000

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  • Damien de Walque

Abstract

This paper tests the hypothesis that education improves health and increases life expectancy. The analysis of smoking histories shows that after 1950, when information about the dangers of tobacco started to diffuse, the prevalence of smoking declined earlier and most dramatically for college graduates. I construct panels based on smoking histories in an attempt to isolate the causal effect of smoking from the influence of time-invariant unobservable characteristics. The results suggest that, at least among women, college education has a negative effect on smoking prevalence and that more educated individuals responded faster to the diffusion of information on the dangers of smoking.

Suggested Citation

  • Damien de Walque, 2010. "Education, Information and Smoking Decisions: Evidence from Smoking Histories in the United States, 1940–2000," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(3).
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:45:y:2010:iii:1:p682-717
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hahn, Jinyong, 2001. "Comment: Binary Regressors in Nonlinear Panel-Data Models with Fixed Effects," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 19(1), pages 16-17, January.
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    10. Fuchs, Victor R. (ed.), 1982. "Economic Aspects of Health," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 0, number 9780226267852, December.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bratti, Massimiliano & Mendola, Mariapia, 2014. "Parental health and child schooling," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 94-108.
    2. Pierre Koning & Dinand Webbink & Nicholas Martin, 2015. "The effect of education on smoking behavior: new evidence from smoking durations of a sample of twins," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 48(4), pages 1479-1497, June.
    3. Michael Grossman, 2015. "The Relationship between Health and Schooling: What's New?," Working Papers 8, City University of New York Graduate Center, Ph.D. Program in Economics.
    4. repec:eee:wdevel:v:96:y:2017:i:c:p:32-51 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Chiappori, Pierre-André & Oreffice, Sonia & Quintana-Domeque, Climent, 2010. "Matching with a Handicap: The Case of Smoking in the Marriage Market," IZA Discussion Papers 5392, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. David Frisvold & Ezra Golberstein, 2013. "The Effect of School Quality on Black-White Health Differences: Evidence From Segregated Southern Schools," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(6), pages 1989-2012, December.
    7. Hendrik Jürges & Sophie-Charlotte Meyer, 2017. "Educational differences in smoking: selection versus causation," Schumpeter Discussion Papers SDP17001, Universitätsbibliothek Wuppertal, University Library.
    8. Zhong, Hai, 2016. "Effects of quantity of education on health: A regression discontinuity design approach based on the Chinese Cultural Revolution," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 62-74.
    9. repec:spr:demogr:v:54:y:2017:i:5:d:10.1007_s13524-017-0608-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Maralani, Vida, 2013. "Educational inequalities in smoking: The role of initiation versus quitting," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 129-137.
    11. Cowan, Benjamin W., 2011. "Forward-thinking teens: The effects of college costs on adolescent risky behavior," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 813-825, October.
    12. Janet Currie & Hannes Schwandt, 2016. "Mortality Inequality: The Good News from a County-Level Approach," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 30(2), pages 29-52, Spring.
    13. Shah Danyal & Bichaka Fayissa & Jong-Sung Lee, 2011. "Impact of Education on Lifestyles: What Do Longitudinal Data Show?," Working Papers 201102, Middle Tennessee State University, Department of Economics and Finance.
    14. Massimiliano Bratti & Mendola, M., 2013. "GINI DP 63: Parental Health and Child Schooling!," GINI Discussion Papers 63, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
    15. Lange, Fabian, 2011. "The role of education in complex health decisions: Evidence from cancer screening," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 43-54, January.
    16. Corinne Reczek & Hui Liu & Dustin Brown, 2014. "Cigarette Smoking in Same-Sex and Different-Sex Unions: The Role of Socioeconomic and Psychological Factors," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 33(4), pages 527-551, August.
    17. Andersson, Matthew A. & Maralani, Vida, 2015. "Early-life characteristics and educational disparities in smoking," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 144(C), pages 138-147.

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