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More Bad News for Smokers? The Effects of Cigarette Smoking on Labor Market Outcomes

  • Phillip B. Levine
  • Tara A. Gustafson
  • Ann D. Velenchik

This paper uses data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth to examine the effect of smoking on wages and employment. The panel nature and household structure of these data enable us to implement methods to account for differences in observed and unobserved individual characteristics that may be correlated with both smoking and wages. Changes in wages associated with changes in smoking behavior and models that utilize sibling comparisons are estimated to address the potential heterogeneity problem. Estimates from alternative specifications all indicate that smoking reduces wages by roughly 4-8%. No robust, statistically significant effect on employment is observed.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5270.

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Date of creation: Sep 1995
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Industrial and Labor Relations Review (April 1997): 493-509.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5270
Note: HE LS
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  1. Jonathan Gruber & Jeffrey D. Kubik, 1994. "Disability Insurance Rejection Rates and the Labor Supply of Older Workers," NBER Working Papers 4941, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. Charles A. Register & Donald R. Williams, 1992. "Labor market effects of marijuana and cocaine use among young men," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 45(3), pages 435-451, April.
  9. Andrew M. Gill & Robert J. Michaels, 1992. "Does Drug Use Lower Wages?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 45(3), pages 419-434, April.
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  11. Susan Averett & Sanders Korenman, 1996. "The Economic Reality of the Beauty Myth," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(2), pages 304-330.
  12. Blackburn, McKinley L & Neumark, David, 1993. "Omitted-Ability Bias and the Increase in the Return to Schooling," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(3), pages 521-44, July.
  13. Willis, Robert J., 1987. "Wage determinants: A survey and reinterpretation of human capital earnings functions," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 10, pages 525-602 Elsevier.
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