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Prevalence and substitution effects in tobacco consumption: A discrete choice analysis of panel data


  • Knut R. Wangen

    () (Statistics Norway)

  • Erik Biørn

    () (University of Oslo)


This paper analyzes tobacco demand within a discrete choice framework. Using binomial and multinomial logit models with random effects, and an unbalanced panel data set of Norwegian households over a twenty year period, we first consider the decisions a) whether to smoke or not, and b) given the choice is to smoke, whether to smoke hand rolled or manufactured cigarettes. Next, we consider a multinomial logit framework, in which the households choose between no tobacco, only manufactured cigarettes, only hand rolled cigarettes, and a combination of manufactured and hand rolled cigarettes. In this process, we utilize the potential offered by panel data to investigate unobserved heterogeneity, which is crucial for commodities where consumers have different tastes and where users tend to become addicted. Using Maximum Likelihood in combination with bootstrap estimation of standard errors, we find that income and prices influence the 'type of tobacco choice probabilities' at least as strongly as the 'smoking/non-smoking probabilities'. Cet.par., an increase in the price of manufactured cigarettes could lead consumers to switch to hand rolled cigarettes, rather than quit smoking. Socio-demographic variables seem to be at least as important in explaining the discrete aspects of tobacco consumption as income and prices. Finally, we find significant unobserved household specific effects in the smoking pattern.

Suggested Citation

  • Knut R. Wangen & Erik Biørn, 2002. "Prevalence and substitution effects in tobacco consumption: A discrete choice analysis of panel data," 10th International Conference on Panel Data, Berlin, July 5-6, 2002 C4-3, International Conferences on Panel Data.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpd:pd2002:c4-3

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. McFadden, Daniel L., 1984. "Econometric analysis of qualitative response models," Handbook of Econometrics,in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 24, pages 1395-1457 Elsevier.
    2. Chaloupka, Frank J. & Warner, Kenneth E., 2000. "The economics of smoking," Handbook of Health Economics,in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 29, pages 1539-1627 Elsevier.
    3. Kjell Arne Brekke & Richard B. Howarth & Karine Nyborg, 1998. "Are there Social Limits to Growth?," Discussion Papers 239, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    4. Joel L. Horowitz, 1996. "Bootstrap Methods in Econometrics: Theory and Numerical Performance," Econometrics 9602009, EconWPA, revised 05 Mar 1996.
    5. Richard B. Howarth & Kjell Arne Brekke, 1998. "Status Preferences and Economic Growth," Discussion Papers 240, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    6. Knut R. Wangen & Erik Biørn, 2001. "Individual Heterogeneity and Price Responses in Tobacco Consumption: A Two-Commodity Analysis of Unbalanced Panel Data," Discussion Papers 294, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    7. Nielsen, H.S. & Rosholm, M., 1997. "The Incidence of Unemployment: Identifying Quit and Layoffs," Papers 97-15, Centre for Labour Market and Social Research, Danmark-.
    8. Miles, Daniel, 2000. " The Probability That a Smoker Does Not Purchase Tobacco: A Note," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 62(5), pages 647-656, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Knut Wangen & Erik Biørn, 2006. "How do consumers switch between close substitutes when price variation is small? The case of cigarette types," Spanish Economic Review, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 239-253, December.

    More about this item


    Tobacco. Discrete choice. Panel data. Logit analysis. Heterogeneity. Bootstrapping;

    JEL classification:

    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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