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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. Jonathan Gruber & Jonathan Zinman, 2000. "Youth Smoking in the U.S.: Evidence and Implications," NBER Working Papers 7780, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. David Madden, 2007. "Tobacco taxes and starting and quitting smoking: does the effect differ by education?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(5), pages 613-627.
    3. DeCicca, Philip & Kenkel, Donald & Mathios, Alan, 2000. "Putting Out The Fires: Will Higher Taxes Reduce Youth Smoking?," Working Papers 00-3, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
    4. Martin Forster & Andrew M. Jones, 2001. "The role of tobacco taxes in starting and quitting smoking: Duration analysis of British data," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 164(3), pages 517-547.
    5. 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.
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    8. Chaloupka, Frank J. & Wechsler, Henry, 1997. "Price, tobacco control policies and smoking among young adults," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 359-373, June.
    9. Andrew M Jones, 1995. "A microeconometric analysis of smoking in the UK health and lifestyle survey," Working Papers 139chedp, Centre for Health Economics, University of York.
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    Cited by:

    1. Christian Raschke, 2012. "The Impact of the German Child Benefit on Child Well-Being," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 520, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    GSOEP; youths; discrete time hazard model; log-logistic duration analysis;

    JEL classification:

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

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