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Rationally Addicted to Drinking and Smoking?

Author

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  • Bask, Mikael

    () (Department of Economics, Umeå University)

  • Melkersson, Maria

    () (SOFI, Stockholms universitet)

Abstract

When modeling demand for addictive consumption goods, the most widely used framework is the rational addiction model proposed by Becker and Murphy (1988). In the present paper, we extend the rational addiction model to include two addictive consumption goods, alcohol and cigarettes. We estimate the aggregate demand for alcohol and cigarettes in Sweden, using aggregate annual time series on sales volumes for the period 1955-1999. OLS estimates are compared to GMM estimates allowing for possible endogeneity of lagged and lead consumption. We first estimate demand for alcohol and cigarettes as separate equations. It is found that alcohol demand is quite well described by the rational addiction model while the same is not true for cigarettes. The own-price elasticities are negative, and alcohol demand is more elastic than cigarette demand. The cross-price elasticities are negative, i.e., alcohol and cigarettes are complements. Since consumption of alcohol and cigarettes are probably simultaneous decisions, we estimate the demand for these goods as a system of equations. Alcohol demand is still positively affected by lagged and lead consumption while cigarette demand is not. The obtained elasticities are now generally smaller compared to when estimating the equations separately.

Suggested Citation

  • Bask, Mikael & Melkersson, Maria, 2001. "Rationally Addicted to Drinking and Smoking?," Umeå Economic Studies 567, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:umnees:0567
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Olekalns, Nilss & Bardsley, Peter, 1996. "Rational Addiction to Caffeine: An Analysis of Coffee Consumption," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 1100-1104, October.
    2. Shew-Jiuan Su & Steven Yen, 2000. "A censored system of cigarette and alcohol consumption," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(6), pages 729-737.
    3. Becker, Gary S & Grossman, Michael & Murphy, Kevin M, 1994. "An Empirical Analysis of Cigarette Addiction," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 396-418, June.
    4. Frank J. Chaloupka & Adit Laixuthai, 1997. "Do Youths Substitute Alcohol and Marijuana? Some Econometric Evidence," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 23(3), pages 253-276, Summer.
    5. 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.
    6. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1988. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 675-700, August.
    7. Suranovic, Steven M. & Goldfarb, Robert S. & Leonard, Thomas C., 1999. "An economic theory of cigarette addiction," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 1-29, January.
    8. Sergi Jiménez-Martín & José M. Labeaga & Angel López, 1998. "Participation, heterogeneity and dynamics in tobacco consumption: evidence from cohort data," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 7(5), pages 401-414.
    9. Orphanides, Athanasios & Zervos, David, 1995. "Rational Addiction with Learning and Regret," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 739-758, August.
    10. Sandra L. Decker & Amy Ellen Schwartz, 2000. "Cigarettes and Alcohol: Substitutes or Complements?," NBER Working Papers 7535, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Farrelly, Matthew C. & Bray, Jeremy W. & Zarkin, Gary A. & Wendling, Brett W., 2001. "The joint demand for cigarettes and marijuana: evidence from the National Household Surveys on Drug Abuse," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 51-68, January.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Alcohol Demand; Cigarette Demand; Habitual Consumption; Rational Addiction;

    JEL classification:

    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis

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