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The effect of education on smoking behaviour: New evidence from smoking durations of a sample of twins

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  • Pierre Koning

    (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)

  • Dinand Webbink

    (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)

  • N.G. Martin

Abstract

We analyse the causal effect of education on starting and quitting smoking, using longitudinal data of Australian twins. We take into account the endogeneity of education, censoring of smoking durations and the timing of starting smoking versus that of completing education by using the flexible Mixed Proportional Hazard (MPH) specification. Unobserved effects in the specification are assumed to be twin specific and possibly correlated with completed education years. In addition, we use various unique control indicators reflecting the discounting behaviour of individuals that may affect both the smoking decision and the number of education years. In contrast to previous studies in our model specification, differences in the number of education years cannot explain differences in smoking behaviour at young ages. We find one additional year of education to reduce the duration of smoking with 9 months, but no significant effect of education on starting smoking. The effect of education on quitting smoking largely confines to male twins. This suggests that education policies that succeed in raising the level of education may improve public health through an increase of smoking cessation, but are not effective in preventing smoking at young ages.

Suggested Citation

  • Pierre Koning & Dinand Webbink & N.G. Martin, 2010. "The effect of education on smoking behaviour: New evidence from smoking durations of a sample of twins," CPB Discussion Paper 139, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpb:discus:139
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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. The Effect of Education on Smoking Behavior
      by Ariel Goldring in Free Market Mojo on 2010-04-30 16:02:10

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C41 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Duration Analysis; Optimal Timing Strategies
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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