IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Parental income and children's smoking behaviour: evidence from the British Household Panel Survey


  • Laura Blow

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of Surrey)

  • Andrew Leicester

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Frank Windmeijer

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of Bristol)


Does money matter? When investigating health behaviour, research often finds a strong positive association between income and healthy behaviour. This could however be due to individual characteristics that determine both income and health investment and is not necessarily due to the role of money per se. In this study we look at this relationship over the generations by studying the association between parental income and children's prevalence to smoke in Britain using data from the British Household Panel Survey and British Youth Survey. We find an inverse relation between parental income and children's smoking prevalence, but when looking at within household changes by comparing sibling's smoking status differences at the same age, we find instead a positive effect. This indicates that within household increases in income lead to an increased probability of smoking of a younger child.

Suggested Citation

  • Laura Blow & Andrew Leicester & Frank Windmeijer, 2005. "Parental income and children's smoking behaviour: evidence from the British Household Panel Survey," IFS Working Papers W05/10, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:05/10

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Eliana Garces & Duncan Thomas & Janet Currie, 2002. "Longer-Term Effects of Head Start," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 999-1012, September.
    2. Dustmann, Christian & Windmeijer, Frank, 2000. "Wages and the Demand for Health - A Life Cycle Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 171, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Hana Ross & Frank J. Chaloupka & Melanie Wakefield, 2006. "Youth Smoking Uptake Progress: Price and Public Policy Effects," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 32(2), pages 355-367, Spring.
    4. Griliches, Zvi, 1979. "Sibling Models and Data in Economics: Beginnings of a Survey," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 37-64, October.
    5. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-255, March-Apr.
    6. Jonathan Gruber, 2000. "Youth Smoking in the U.S.: Prices and Policies," NBER Working Papers 7506, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Philip DeCicca & Donald Kenkel & Alan Mathios, 2002. "Putting Out the Fires: Will Higher Taxes Reduce the Onset of Youth Smoking?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(1), pages 144-169, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Maria L. Loureiro & Anna Sanz-de-Galdeano & Daniela Vuri, 2010. "Smoking Habits: Like Father, Like Son, Like Mother, Like Daughter?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 72(6), pages 717-743, December.
    2. Massimiliano Bratti & Alfonso Miranda, 2010. "Non‐pecuniary returns to higher education: the effect on smoking intensity in the UK," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(8), pages 906-920, August.
    3. Sutherland, Alex, 2012. "Is parental socio-economic status related to the initiation of substance abuse by young people in an English city? An event history analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(7), pages 1053-1061.
    4. Edoka, I.P., 2012. "Decomposing Differences in Cotinine Distribution between Children and Adolescents from Different Socioeconomic Backgrounds," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 12/29, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    5. I. Edoka, 2011. "Parental Income and Smoking Participation in Adolescents: Implications of misclassification error in empirical studies of adolescent smoking participation," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 11/29, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.

    More about this item


    Child smoking; Parental income; Panel Data;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:05/10. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Emma Hyman). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.