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Why Do Europeans Smoke More than Americans?

In: Developments in the Economics of Aging

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  • David M. Cutler
  • Edward L. Glaeser

Abstract

While Americans are less healthy than Europeans along some dimensions (like obesity), Americans are significantly less likely to smoke than their European counterparts. This difference emerged in the 1970s and it is biggest among the most educated. The puzzle becomes larger once we account for cigarette prices and anti-smoking regulations, which are both higher in Europe. There is a nonmonotonic relationship between smoking and income; among richer countries and people, higher incomes are associated with less smoking. This can account for about one-fifth of the U.S./Europe difference. Almost one-half of the smoking difference appears to be the result of differences in beliefs about the health effects of smoking; Europeans are generally less likely to think that cigarette smoking is harmful.
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Suggested Citation

  • David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser, 2009. "Why Do Europeans Smoke More than Americans?," NBER Chapters,in: Developments in the Economics of Aging, pages 255-282 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:11319
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Frank H. Maier, 1955. "Consumer Demand for Cigarettes Estimated from State Data," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 37(4), pages 690-704.
    2. Baltagi, Badi H & Levin, Dan, 1986. "Estimating Dynamic Demand for Cigarettes Using Panel Data: The Effects of Bootlegging, Taxation and Advertising Reconsidered," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(1), pages 148-155, February.
    3. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce I. Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 2003. "The Social Multiplier," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(2-3), pages 345-353, 04/05.
    4. Akerlof, George A & Dickens, William T, 1982. "The Economic Consequences of Cognitive Dissonance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 307-319, June.
    5. Chaloupka, Frank, 1991. "Rational Addictive Behavior and Cigarette Smoking," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 722-742, August.
    6. David M. Cutler & Edward Glaeser, 2005. "What Explains Differences in Smoking, Drinking, and Other Health-Related Behaviors?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 238-242, May.
    7. Becker, Gary S & Grossman, Michael & Murphy, Kevin M, 1994. "An Empirical Analysis of Cigarette Addiction," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 396-418, June.
    8. Craig A. Gallet & John A. List, 2003. "Cigarette demand: a meta-analysis of elasticities," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(10), pages 821-835.
    9. Herbert L. Lyon & Julian L. Simon, 1968. "Price Elasticity of the Demand for Cigarettes in the United States," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 50(4), pages 888-895.
    10. Matthew C. Farrelly & William N. Evans & Edward Montgomery, 1999. "Do Workplace Smoking Bans Reduce Smoking?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 728-747, September.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Pierre-Carl Michaud & Dana Goldman & Darius Lakdawalla & Adam Gailey & Yuhui Zheng, 2009. "International Differences in Longevity and Health and their Economic Consequences," NBER Working Papers 15235, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Glaeser, Edward L. & Ujhelyi, Gergely, 2010. "Regulating misinformation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(3-4), pages 247-257, April.
    3. Fred Pampel & Justin Denney, 2011. "Cross-National Sources of Health Inequality: Education and Tobacco Use in the World Health Survey," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 48(2), pages 653-674, May.
    4. Brunello, Giorgio & Michaud, Pierre-Carl & Sanz-de-Galdeano, Anna, 2008. "The Rise in Obesity across the Atlantic: An Economic Perspective," IZA Discussion Papers 3529, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Odermatt, Reto & Stutzer, Alois, 2015. "Smoking bans, cigarette prices and life satisfaction," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 176-194.
    6. Liesbeth Colen & Johan Swinnen, 2016. "Economic Growth, Globalisation and Beer Consumption," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(1), pages 186-207, February.
    7. Park, Cheolsung & Kang, Changhui, 2008. "Does education induce healthy lifestyle?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 1516-1531, December.
    8. Hendrik Jürges, 2009. "Healthy Minds In Healthy Bodies: An International Comparison Of Education-Related Inequality In Physical Health Among Older Adults," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 56(3), pages 296-320, July.
    9. Brunello, Giorgio & Michaud, Pierre-Carl & Sanz-de-Galdeano, Anna, 2008. "The Rise in Obesity across the Atlantic: An Economic Perspective," IZA Discussion Papers 3529, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Dimitris Christelis & Anna Sanz-de-Galdeano, 2009. "Smoking Persistence in Europe: A Semi-Parametric Panel Data Analysis with Selectivity," Working Papers 403, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    11. Dimitrios Christelis & Anna Sanz-de-Galdeano, 2009. "Smoking Persistence Across Countries: An Analysis Using Semi-Parametric Dynamic Panel Data Models with Selectivity," CSEF Working Papers 236, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    12. Anna Sanz de Galdeano, 2007. "An Economic Analysis of Obesity in Europe: Health, Medical Care and Absenteeism Costs," Working Papers 2007-38, FEDEA.
    13. Christelis, Dimitris & Sanz-de-Galdeano, Anna, 2011. "Smoking persistence across countries: A panel data analysis," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 1077-1093.
    14. Pampel, Fred C. & Denney, Justin T. & Krueger, Patrick M., 2012. "Obesity, SES, and economic development: A test of the reversal hypothesis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(7), pages 1073-1081.
    15. Samuel H. Preston & Jessica Y. Ho, 2009. "Low Life Expectancy in the United States: Is the Health Care System at Fault?," NBER Working Papers 15213, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Michaud, Pierre-Carl & Goldman, Dana & Lakdawalla, Darius & Gailey, Adam & Zheng, Yuhui, 2011. "Differences in health between Americans and Western Europeans: Effects on longevity and public finance," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 254-263, July.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • P5 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems

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