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Smoking initiation in Germany: the role of intergenerational transmission

  • Silja Göhlmann

    (RWI Essen, Essen, Germany)

  • Christoph M. Schmidt
  • Harald Tauchmann

    (RWI Essen, Essen, Germany)

This paper analyzes the decision to start smoking using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP). Our focus is on the role that parental smoking behavior plays for children's smoking initiation. The data used are a combination of retrospective information on the age individuals started smoking and, by tracing back these individuals within the panel structure up to that point, information on characteristics at the age of smoking initiation. In contrast to the previous literature it is possible to control for the environment at the time of smoking onset that might have influenced the decision to start. Our preferred specification of a discrete time hazard model indicates that parental smoking significantly increases the offspring's hazard to start smoking. While this effect is most prominent for currently smoking parents, it is also found for parents who have given up smoking already. However, an ambiguous effect of the timing of parental smoking cessation is found, arguing against role-model effects being a key determinant for smoking initiation. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 19 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 227-242

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Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:19:y:2010:i:2:p:227-242
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/5749

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  1. Martin Forster & Andrew M. Jones, 2001. "The role of tobacco taxes in starting and quitting smoking: Duration analysis of British data," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 164(3), pages 517-547.
  2. Douglas, Stratford & Hariharan, Govind, 1994. "The hazard of starting smoking: Estimates from a split population duration model," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 213-230, July.
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  5. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1988. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 675-700, August.
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  7. Ahlburg, Dennis, 1998. "Intergenerational Transmission of Health," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 265-70, May.
  8. Decicca, P. & Kenkel, D. & Mathios, A., 2000. "Putting Out the Fires: Will Higher Taxes Reduce Youth Smoking," Papers 00-3, Aarhus School of Business - Department of Economics.
  9. Maria L. Loureiro & Anna Sanz-de-Galdeano & Daniela Vuri, 2009. "Smoking Habits: Like Father, Like Son, Like Mother, Like Daughter," CESifo Working Paper Series 2782, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. Peter Schmidt & Ann Dryden Witte, 1987. "Predicting Criminal Recidivism Using "Split Population" Survival Time Models," NBER Working Papers 2445, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. William Greene, 2004. "Convenient estimators for the panel probit model: Further results," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 21-47, January.
  12. Tauchmann, Harald, 2008. "West-East Convergence in the Prevalence of Cannabis Use: Socioeconomics or Culture?," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, vol. 2, pages 1-27.
  13. Madden, David, 2003. "Tobacco Taxes and Starting and Quitting Smoking: Does the Effect Differ by Education?," Papers HRBWP03, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  14. Christian Bantle & John P. Haisken-DeNew, 2002. "Smoke Signals: The Intergenerational Transmission of Smoking Behavior," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 277, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  15. Frank J. Chaloupka & Michael Grossman, 1996. "Price, Tobacco Control Policies and Youth Smoking," NBER Working Papers 5740, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Andrew M Jones, 1995. "A microeconometric analysis of smoking in the UK health and lifestyle survey," Working Papers 139chedp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.
  17. Douglas, Stratford, 1998. "The Duration of the Smoking Habit," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(1), pages 49-64, January.
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