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Smoking and Social Interaction


  • Panu Poutvaara


  • Lars-H. R. Siemers


We study the social interaction of non-smokers and smokers as a sequential game, incorporating insights from social psychology and experimental economics into an economic model. Social norms affect human behavior such that non-smokers do not ask smokers to stop smoking and stay with them, even though disutility from smoking exceeds utility from social interaction. Overall, smoking is unduly often accepted when accommodating smoking is the social norm. The introduction of smoking and non-smoking areas does not overcome this specific inefficiency. We conclude that smoking bans may represent a required (second-best) policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Panu Poutvaara & Lars-H. R. Siemers, 2007. "Smoking and Social Interaction," CESifo Working Paper Series 1956, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1956

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Sergio Currarini, & Elena Fumagalli & Fabrizio Panebianco, 2012. "Games on Networks: Direct Complements and Indirect Substitutes," Discussion Papers in Economics 13/04, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
    2. Rebekka Christopoulou & Ahmed Jaber & Dean R. Lillard, 2013. "The Inter-generational and Social Transmission of Cultural Traits: Theory and Evidence from Smoking Behavior," NBER Working Papers 19304, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Amegashie, J. Atsu & Ouattara, Bazoumanna & Strobl, Eric, 2007. "Moral Hazard and the Composition of Transfers: Theory with an Application to Foreign Aid," MPRA Paper 3158, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 06 May 2007.
    4. Michael Kvasnicka & Harald Tauchmann, 2010. "Krankenhaus Rating Report 2010 – Licht und Schatten – Executive Summary," RWI Materialien, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, pages 21, 04.
    5. 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.
    6. Jaume García-Villar & Ángel López-Nicolás, 2015. "Who is afraid of smoking bans? An evaluation of the effects of the Spanish clean air law on expenditure at hospitality venues," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 16(8), pages 813-834, November.
    7. Aitor Calo-Blanco, 2015. "Health, responsibility and taxation with a fresh start," Working Papers 15.06, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.
    8. Kvasnicka, Michael & Tauchmann, Harald, 2010. "Eine Befragung von Gastronomiebetrieben zur Einführung von Rauchverboten: Deskriptive Ergebnisse," RWI Materialien 58, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung.
    9. 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.
    10. Annette Hofmann & Martin Nell, 2012. "Smoking bans and the secondhand smoking problem: an economic analysis," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 13(3), pages 227-236, June.
    11. repec:zbw:rwimat:058 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Udo Schneider & Jürgen Zerth, 2011. "Improving Prevention Compliance through Appropriate Incentives: Theoretical Modelling and Empirical Evidence," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 147(I), pages 71-106, March.

    More about this item


    smoking policy; social norms; guilt aversion; deviant behavior; social interaction;

    JEL classification:

    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health


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