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Market regulation and firm performance: the case of smoking bans in the UK

  • Jerome Adda

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and European University Institute)

  • Samuel Berlinski

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College, London)

  • V. Bhaskar

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Steve Machin

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College London)

This paper analyzes the effects of a ban on smoking in public places upon firms and consumers. It presents a theoretical model and tests its predictions using unique data from before and after the introduction of smoking bans in the UK. Cigarette smoke is a public bad, and smokers and non-smokers differ in their valuation of smoke-free amenities. Consumer heterogeneity implies that the market equilibrium may result in too much uniformity, whereas social optimality requires a mix of smoking and non-smoking pubs (which can be operationalized via licensing). If the market equilibrium has almost all pubs permitting smoking (as is the case in the data) then a blanket ban reduces pub sales, profits, and consumer welfare. We collect survey data from public houses and find that the Scottish smoking ban (introduced in March 2006) reduced pub sales and harmed medium run profitability. An event study analysis of the stock market performance of pub-holding companies corroborates the negative effects of the smoking ban on firm performance.

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Paper provided by Institute for Fiscal Studies in its series IFS Working Papers with number W09/13.

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Date of creation: Jul 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:09/13
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  1. Benjamin C. Alamar & Stanton A. Glantz, 2004. "Smoke-free Ordinances Increase Restaurant Profit and Value," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 22(4), pages 520-525, October.
  2. Rochet, Jean-Charles & Stole, Lars A, 2002. "Nonlinear Pricing with Random Participation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(1), pages 277-311, January.
  3. Armstrong, Mark & Vickers, John, 2001. "Competitive Price Discrimination," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(4), pages 579-605, Winter.
  4. Mark Armstrong, 2005. "Public service broadcasting," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 26(3), pages 281-299, September.
  5. Ruback, Richard S & Zimmerman, Martin B, 1984. "Unionization and Profitability: Evidence from the Capital Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(6), pages 1134-57, December.
  6. Alamar, B C & Glantz, Stanton A. Ph.D., 2004. "Smoke-free ordinances increase restaurant profit and value," University of California at San Francisco, Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education qt91w950j4, Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, UC San Francisco.
  7. Simon P. Anderson & Stephen Coate, 2005. "Market Provision of Broadcasting: A Welfare Analysis," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(4), pages 947-972.
  8. Adams Scott & Cotti Chad D., 2007. "The Effect of Smoking Bans on Bars and Restaurants: An Analysis of Changes in Employment," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-34, February.
  9. V. Bhaskar & Ted To, 2002. "Is Perfect Price Discrimination Really Efficient? An Analysis of Free Entry," Economics Discussion Papers 537, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  10. Schwert, G William, 1981. "Using Financial Data to Measure Effects of Regulation," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(1), pages 121-58, April.
  11. Karafiath, Imre, 1988. "Using Dummy Variables in the Event Methodology," The Financial Review, Eastern Finance Association, vol. 23(3), pages 351-57, August.
  12. David W. Cowling & Philip Bond, 2005. "Smoke-free laws and bar revenues in California - the last call," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(12), pages 1273-1281.
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