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Smoke Signals: The Intergenerational Transmission of Smoking Behavior

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  • Christian Bantle
  • John P. Haisken-DeNew

Abstract

In this paper, we investigate the intergenerational transmission of smoking behavior from parents to their children using data from the German Socio- Economic Panel, surveyed in 1999 including 813 youths aged 16 through 19. We find strong evidence, that parental smoking significantly increases the probability that their children likewise become smokers. Youths living in families with both parents smoking are 3.3 times more likely to smoke themselves, while a smoking father raises the probability by the factor 2.8 and a smoking mother by the factor 2.1. Further, we treat single-parent households separately and control for other socioeconomic factors concerning the youths' smoking decision like household income, educational status and working status. Youths' leisure activities and personal attitudes are taken into consideration to test for determinants influencing youth smoking outside from the family context. Thus policies targeted at reducing juvenile smoking may fail, if parents' behavior is not taken into account.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Bantle & John P. Haisken-DeNew, 2002. "Smoke Signals: The Intergenerational Transmission of Smoking Behavior," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 277, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp277
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Intergenerational Transmission; Smoking; Family Composition; GSOEP;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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