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Social Interactions and Smoking

  • David M. Cutler
  • Edward L. Glaeser

Are individuals more likely to smoke when they are surrounded by smokers? In this paper, we examine the evidence for peer effects in smoking. We address the endogeneity of peers by looking at the impact of workplace smoking bans on spousal and peer group smoking. Using these bans as an instrument, we find that individuals whose spouses smoke are 40 percent more likely to smoke themselves. We also find evidence for the existence of a social multiplier in that the impact of smoking bans and individual income becomes stronger at higher levels of aggregation. This social multiplier could explain the large time series drop in smoking among some demographic groups.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13477.

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Date of creation: Oct 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Social Interactions and Smoking , David M. Cutler, Edward L. Glaeser. in Research Findings in the Economics of Aging , Wise. 2010
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13477
Note: AG HC HE
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  1. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce I. Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 2003. "The Social Multiplier," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(2-3), pages 345-353, 04/05.
  2. Peter M. DeMarzo & Dimitri Vayanos & Jeffrey Zwiebel, 2003. "Persuasion bias, social influence, and uni-dimensional opinions," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 454, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Ellison, Glenn & Fudenberg, Drew, 1992. "Rules of Thumb for Social Learning," IDEI Working Papers 17, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  4. Edward E. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1995. "Crime and Social Interactions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1738, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  5. Bruce Sacerdote, 2000. "Peer Effects with Random Assignment: Results for Dartmouth Roommates," NBER Working Papers 7469, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Lisa George & Joel Waldfogel, 2003. "Who Affects Whom in Daily Newspaper Markets?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(4), pages 765-784, August.
  7. Lisa M. George & Joel Waldfogel, 2006. "The New York Times and the Market for Local Newspapers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 435-447, March.
  8. Giorgio Topa, 2001. "Social Interactions, Local Spillovers and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(2), pages 261-295.
  9. Anne C. Case & Lawrence F. Katz, 1991. "The Company You Keep: The Effects of Family and Neighborhood on Disadvantaged Youths," NBER Working Papers 3705, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Brock,W.A. & Durlauf,S.N., 2000. "Discrete choice with social interactions," Working papers 7, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  11. William N. Evans & Matthew C. Farrelly & Edward Montgomery, 1996. "Do Workplace Smoking Bans Reduce Smoking?," NBER Working Papers 5567, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Manski, C.F., 1991. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: the Reflection Problem," Working papers 9127, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
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