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Smoking and Social Interaction


  • Poutvaara, Panu

    () (University of Munich)

  • Siemers, Lars

    () (University of Siegen)


We study the social interaction of non-smokers and smokers as a sequential game, incorporating insights from social psychology and experimental economics into an economic model. Social norms affect human behavior such that non-smokers do not ask smokers to stop smoking and stay with them, even though disutility from smoking exceeds utility from social interaction. Overall, smoking is unduly often accepted when accommodating smoking is the social norm. The introduction of smoking and non-smoking areas does not overcome this specific inefficiency. We conclude that smoking bans may represent a required (second-best) policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Poutvaara, Panu & Siemers, Lars, 2007. "Smoking and Social Interaction," IZA Discussion Papers 2666, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2666

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Sergio Currarini, & Elena Fumagalli & Fabrizio Panebianco, 2012. "Games on Networks: Direct Complements and Indirect Substitutes," Discussion Papers in Economics 13/04, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
    2. Rebekka Christopoulou & Ahmed Jaber & Dean R. Lillard, 2013. "The Inter-generational and Social Transmission of Cultural Traits: Theory and Evidence from Smoking Behavior," NBER Working Papers 19304, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Kvasnicka, Michael & Tauchmann, Harald, 2010. "Eine Befragung von Gastronomiebetrieben zur Einführung von Rauchverboten: Deskriptive Ergebnisse," RWI Materialien 58, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung.
    4. Christelis, Dimitris & Sanz-de-Galdeano, Anna, 2011. "Smoking persistence across countries: A panel data analysis," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 1077-1093.
    5. Amegashie, J. Atsu & Ouattara, Bazoumanna & Strobl, Eric, 2007. "Moral Hazard and the Composition of Transfers: Theory with an Application to Foreign Aid," MPRA Paper 3158, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 06 May 2007.
    6. Annette Hofmann & Martin Nell, 2012. "Smoking bans and the secondhand smoking problem: an economic analysis," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 13(3), pages 227-236, June.
    7. Christelis, Dimitris & Sanz-de-Galdeano, Anna, 2009. "Smoking Persistence Across Countries: An Analysis Using Semi-Parametric Dynamic Panel Data Models with Selectivity," IZA Discussion Papers 4336, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. repec:zbw:rwimat:058 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Udo Schneider & Jürgen Zerth, 2011. "Improving Prevention Compliance through Appropriate Incentives: Theoretical Modelling and Empirical Evidence," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 147(I), pages 71-106, March.
    10. Michael Kvasnicka & Harald Tauchmann, 2010. "Krankenhaus Rating Report 2010 – Licht und Schatten – Executive Summary," RWI Materialien, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, pages 21, 04.
    11. Jaume García-Villar & Ángel López-Nicolás, 2015. "Who is afraid of smoking bans? An evaluation of the effects of the Spanish clean air law on expenditure at hospitality venues," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 16(8), pages 813-834, November.
    12. Aitor Calo-Blanco, 2015. "Health, responsibility and taxation with a fresh start," Working Papers 15.06, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.

    More about this item


    deviant behavior; guilt aversion; social norms; smoking policy; social interaction;

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory

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