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Cigarette Smoking, Pregnancy, Forward Looking Behavior and Dynamic Inconsistency

This paper addresses two aspects of the model of rational addiction: forward looking behavior and time consistent preferences. It explores smoking by women before, during and after pregnancy using the European Community Household Panel (ECHP).Pregnancy is used as an instrument for a partially predictable future decrease in smoking. Women reduce the average number of cigarettes they smoke and many quit in the period 10 to 15 months before the birth of a child. Our analysis suggests that this effect may be stronger for married than for unmarried women, corresponding to the higher probability that the pregnancies of married women are planned. Pregnancy is also used as an instrument to estimate the parameters of a structural model of addiction. The estimates imply that cigarettes are highly addictive. Finally, we present statistically significant evidence that, even when the expected number of cigarettes smoked one month after the interview is taken into account, expected smoking further in the future has an independent effect on current consumption. This effect remains even when we impose the highest theoretically possible coefficient on expected cigarettes smoked one month after the interview. This means that the null of time consistency is (barely) rejected against the alternative of time inconsistency.

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Paper provided by Tor Vergata University, CEIS in its series CEIS Research Paper with number 132.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: 14 Nov 2008
Date of revision: 14 Nov 2008
Handle: RePEc:rtv:ceisrp:132
Contact details of provider: Postal: CEIS - Centre for Economic and International Studies - Faculty of Economics - University of Rome "Tor Vergata" - Via Columbia, 2 00133 Roma
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  1. B. Douglas Bernheim & Antonio Rangel, 2003. "Addiction and Cue-Conditioned Cognitive Processes," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 666156000000000052, www.najecon.org.
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  13. 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.
  14. Loewenstein, George, 1996. "Out of Control: Visceral Influences on Behavior," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 272-292, March.
  15. Evans, William N. & Ringel, Jeanne S., 1999. "Can higher cigarette taxes improve birth outcomes?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 135-154, April.
  16. Colman, Greg & Grossman, Michael & Joyce, Ted, 2003. "The effect of cigarette excise taxes on smoking before, during and after pregnancy," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 1053-1072, November.
  17. William N. Evans & Jeanne S. Ringel & Diana Stech, 1999. "Tobacco Taxes and Public Policy to Discourage Smoking," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 13, pages 1-56 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy, 1986. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 41, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
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  23. Moffitt, Robert, 1993. "Identification and estimation of dynamic models with a time series of repeated cross-sections," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1-2), pages 99-123, September.
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  25. Silvia Tiezzi, 2005. "An empirical analysis of tobacco addiction in Italy," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 233-243, September.
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  30. W. David Bradford, 2003. "Pregnancy and the Demand for Cigarettes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1752-1763, December.
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