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The Behavioral Dynamics of Youth Smoking

Author

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  • Donna B. Gilleskie
  • Koleman S. Strumpf

Abstract

While individual smoking behavior persists over time, it is unknown whether this repeated behavior is due to addiction or individual propensities to smoke. To address this issue, we develop a dynamic empirical model of smoking decisions which explicitly accounts for the impact of previous smoking behavior and allows for unobserved individual heterogeneity. The model is estimated using longitudinal data on a representative sample of teens from all 50 United States from 1988 to 1992. We find that current smokers are both more likely to continue smoking and are less price sensitive than current non-smokers. For example, smoking in 8th grade (as opposed to not smoking) increased the probability of smoking two years later three fold, while smoking participation rates are double four years later. The estimated price sensitivities of previous non-smokers and previous smokers are -0.32 and 0.08, respectively. This suggests that a cigarette price increase will have a larger aggregate effect in the long run than in the short run as more individuals accumulate in the price-sensitive non-smoking group. In total, a dollar increase in cigarette prices reduces (age 18) smoking participation predictions by four percentage points more when unobserved individual heterogeneity and behavior modification associated with previous price changes are taken into account than when they are ignored.

Suggested Citation

  • Donna B. Gilleskie & Koleman S. Strumpf, 2000. "The Behavioral Dynamics of Youth Smoking," NBER Working Papers 7838, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7838 Note: HC
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mroz, Thomas A., 1999. "Discrete factor approximations in simultaneous equation models: Estimating the impact of a dummy endogenous variable on a continuous outcome," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 233-274, October.
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    3. Chaloupka, Frank, 1991. "Rational Addictive Behavior and Cigarette Smoking," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 722-742, August.
    4. Chaloupka, Frank J. & Warner, Kenneth E., 2000. "The economics of smoking," Handbook of Health Economics,in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 29, pages 1539-1627 Elsevier.
    5. John A. Tauras & Frank J. Chaloupka, 1999. "Determinants of Smoking Cessation: An Analysis of Young Adult Men and Women," NBER Working Papers 7262, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Jonathan Gruber & Botond Koszegi, 2000. "Is Addiction "Rational"? Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7507, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. 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.
    8. Jonathan Gruber, 2000. "Youth Smoking in the U.S.: Prices and Policies," NBER Working Papers 7506, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Frank J. Chaloupka & Michael Grossman, 1996. "Price, Tobacco Control Policies and Youth Smoking," NBER Working Papers 5740, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Douglas, Stratford, 1998. "The Duration of the Smoking Habit," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(1), pages 49-64, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Christian Bantle & John P. Haisken-DeNew, 2002. "Smoke Signals: The Intergenerational Transmission of Smoking Behavior," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 277, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    2. repec:zbw:rwirep:0026 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Dimitrios Christelis & Anna Sanz-de-Galdeano, 2009. "Smoking Persistence Across Countries: An Analysis Using Semi-Parametric Dynamic Panel Data Models with Selectivity," CSEF Working Papers 236, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    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. Göhlmann, Silja, 2007. "Who Smokes and How Much? - Empirical Evidence for Germany," Ruhr Economic Papers 26, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    6. Silja Göhlmann, 2007. "Who Smokes and How Much? - Empirical Evidence for Germany," Ruhr Economic Papers 0026, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.

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    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health

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