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Low Income And Poor Health Choices:The Example Of Smoking

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  • James Binkley

    () (Dept. of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University)

Abstract

People with low incomes tend to make less healthy consumption choices than do high income people. In the case of food, agricultural economists have investigated whether this is due to the cost of a healthy diet. Studies of various aspects of the nutrition-income nexus have generally been inconclusive. We investigate a different possibility, motivated by the fact that low income individuals are most likely to be smokers, which cannot be due to limited budgets. Drawing on a body of related literature, we develop a model in which income serves not only as a budget constraint but also as a source of future utility. We test the model by estimating logistic models of beginning and quitting smoking. We find support for the idea that low income consumers make less healthy choices because they face lower costs in terms of foregone future utility.

Suggested Citation

  • James Binkley, 2010. "Low Income And Poor Health Choices:The Example Of Smoking," Working Papers 10-3, Purdue University, College of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pae:wpaper:10-3
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    File URL: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/bitstream/58419/2/10-3.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Fernandez-Cornejo, Jorge & Schimmelpfennig, David E., 2004. "Have Seed Industry Changes Affected Research Effort?," Amber Waves, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, February.
    2. Spielman, David J. & von Grebmer, Klaus, 2004. "Public-private partnerships in agricultural research: an analysis of challenges facing industry and the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research," EPTD discussion papers 113, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Ibendahl, Gregory A. & Anderson, John D. & Thompson, W. Michael, II & Hudson, Darren, 2007. "The Impacts of GM Seed Technology on Cotton: Cost of Production in Mississippi, 1996 - 2005," 2007 Annual Meeting, February 4-7, 2007, Mobile, Alabama 34856, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
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    Cited by:

    1. Zasimova, Liudmila & Kossova, Elena & Ryazanova, Marina, 2014. "Understanding individual attitudes towards ban on smoking in public places," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 34(2), pages 95-119.
    2. Hu, Xiaowen & Stowe, C. Jill, 2013. "The Effect of Income on Health Choices: Alcohol Use," 2013 Annual Meeting, February 2-5, 2013, Orlando, Florida 143060, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    3. Alagsam, Fuad & Schieffer, Jack, 2016. "The Mindlessness and Mindfulness of Secondary Eating," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235644, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Income; Food Choice; Smoking;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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