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Determinants and Consequences of Health Behaviour: New Evidence from German Micro Data


  • Brit S. Schneider
  • Udo Schneider


The economic costs of chronic health conditions and severe illnesses like diabetes, coronary heart disease or cancer are immense. Several clinical trials give information about the importance of individual behaviour for the prevalence of these illnesses. Changes in health relevant behaviour may therefore lead to a decline of avoidable illnesses and related health care costs. In this context, we use German micro data to identify determinants of smoking, drinking and obesity. Our empirical approach allows for the simultaneity between adverse health behaviour and self-reported health as a measure of the individual health capital stock. We can show that health behaviour is related to the socioeconomic status of an individual. Furthermore, we find gender-specific differences in behaviour as well as differences in the determinants of drinking, smoking and heavy body weight in particular.

Suggested Citation

  • Brit S. Schneider & Udo Schneider, 2009. "Determinants and Consequences of Health Behaviour: New Evidence from German Micro Data," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 253, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp253

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Balia, Silvia & Jones, Andrew M., 2008. "Mortality, lifestyle and socio-economic status," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 1-26, January.
    2. Beate Sander & Rito Bergemann, 2003. "Economic burden of obesity and its complications in Germany," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 4(4), pages 248-253, December.
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    4. Matthias Nübling & Hanfried H. Andersen & Axel Mühlbacher & Jürgen Schupp & Gert G. Wagner, 2007. "Computation of Standard Values for Physical and Mental Health Scale Scores Using the SOEP Version of SF12v2," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 127(1), pages 171-182.
    5. Bhattacharya, Jayanta & Currie, Janet & Haider, Steven, 2004. "Poverty, food insecurity, and nutritional outcomes in children and adults," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 839-862, July.
    6. Kenkel, Donald S, 1991. "Health Behavior, Health Knowledge, and Schooling," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(2), pages 287-305, April.
    7. Schneider Brit S. & Schneider Udo & Ulrich Volker, 2007. "Health and the Decision to Invest in Education," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 227(5-6), pages 725-746, October.
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    12. Wilde, Joachim, 2000. "Identification of multiple equation probit models with endogenous dummy regressors," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 309-312, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Aue, Katja & Roosen, Jutta, 2010. "Poverty and health behaviour: Comparing socioeconomic status and a combined poverty indicator as a determinant of health behaviour," 115th Joint EAAE/AAEA Seminar, September 15-17, 2010, Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany 116401, European Association of Agricultural Economists;Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    2. Jane E. Ruseski & Brad R. Humphreys, 2011. "Participation in Physical Activity and Health Outcomes: Evidence from the Canadian Community Health Survey," Chapters,in: The Economics of Sport, Health and Happiness, chapter 1 Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item


    Health behaviour; multivariate probit; education; labour force participation;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis

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