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The smoking wage penality in the United Kingdom: Regression and matching evidence from the British Household Survey Panel

Author

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  • Nils Braakmann

    () (Institute of Economics, Leuphana University of Lüneburg)

Abstract

This paper considers the impact of tobacco consumption on wages in the UK using data from fifteen waves of the British Household Panel Survey. Considering both overall smoker status as well as the number of cigarettes consumed, we provide estimates for the smoking wage penalty using standard regression methods, including panel estimators for fixed effects and panel instrumental variable estimators. Furthermore, we analyse the impact of stopping and starting to smoke relative to permanent smokers and non-smokers by Mahalanobis-matching. In the cross-section, we find a rather large wage penalty for smokers of about 4%. However, panel estimator and IV results show relatively few support for hypotheses linking the smoking wage penalty to either lower productivity of smokers, be it health related or not, or discrimination. Matching results suggest that starting or stopping to smoke does not affect later earnings relative to remaining either smoker or non-smoker.

Suggested Citation

  • Nils Braakmann, 2008. "The smoking wage penality in the United Kingdom: Regression and matching evidence from the British Household Survey Panel," Working Paper Series in Economics 96, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lue:wpaper:96
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Bush, Robert & Wooden, Mark, 1995. "Smoking and absence from work: Australian evidence," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 437-446, August.
    3. 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.
    4. Silke Anger & Michael Kvasnicka, 2006. "Biases in Estimates of the Smoking Wage Penalty," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 654, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    5. Heineck, Guido & Schwarze, Johannes, 2003. "Substance Use and Earnings: The Case of Smokers in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 743, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. M. Christopher Auld, 2005. "Smoking, Drinking, and Income," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(2).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Pierre Pestieau & Gregory Ponthiere, 2012. "Myopia, regrets, and risky behaviors," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 19(2), pages 288-317, April.
    2. Ermakov, Stepan, 2012. "The impact of smoking intensity on wages in Russia," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 25(1), pages 70-94.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Smoking wage penalty; United Kingdom; discrimination;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing

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