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The Determinants of Smoking Initiation: Empirical Evidence for Germany

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  • Silja Göhlmann

Abstract

This paper aims at analyzing the determinants of the decision to start smoking using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP). The data used is a combination of retrospective information on the age individuals started smoking and, by tracing back these individuals within the panel structure up to the point they started smoking, information on characteristics at the age of smoking initiation. In contrast to other papers, it is possible to control for the environment at the time of smoking on set that might have influenced the decision to start. Moreover, never-smokers can be distinguished from ex-smokers. I estimate discrete, but also continuous time hazard models. Results indicate that young higher educated individuals are less likely to start, whereas the hazard of starting among older individuals is not affected by education. Furthermore, parental smoking during the whole childhood significantly increases the probability to start. Almost no significant effects are found regarding parental education, labor market status and living in a large city. Price effects could not be identified, because in Germany prices did not vary during the last decades up to 2002.

Suggested Citation

  • Silja Göhlmann, 2007. "The Determinants of Smoking Initiation: Empirical Evidence for Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 62, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp62
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Angel López Nicolás, 2002. "How important are tobacco prices in the propensity to start and quit smoking? An analysis of smoking histories from the Spanish National Health Survey," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(6), pages 521-535, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Christian Raschke, 2016. "The Impact of the German Child Benefit on Household Expenditures and Consumption," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 17(4), pages 438-477, November.
    2. Raschke, Christian, 2012. "The Impact of the German Child Benefit on Child Well-Being," IZA Discussion Papers 6980, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    GSOEP; youths; discrete time hazard model; log-logistic duration analysis;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior

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