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Is Smoking Behavior Culturally Determined? Evidence from British Immigrants

  • Rebekka Christopoulou
  • Dean R. Lillard

We exploit migration patterns from the UK to Australia, South Africa, and the US to investigate whether a person's decision to smoke is determined by culture. For each country, we use retrospective data to describe individual smoking trajectories over the life-course. For the UK, we use these trajectories to measure culture by cohort and cohort-age, and more accurately relative to the extant literature. Our proxy predicts smoking participation of second-generation British immigrants but not that of non-British immigrants and natives. Researchers can apply our strategy to estimate culture effects on other outcomes when retrospective or longitudinal data are available.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19036.

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Date of creation: May 2013
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Publication status: published as Christopoulou, Rebekka & Lillard, Dean R., 2015. "Is smoking behavior culturally determined? Evidence from British immigrants," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 78-90.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19036
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