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Smoking and Social Interaction

  • Panu Poutvaara
  • Lars-H.R. Siemers


We study the social interaction of non-smokers and smokers as a sequential game, incorporating insights from social psychology and experimental economics into an economic model. Social norms affect human behavior such that non-smokers do not ask smokers to stop smoking and stay with them, even though disutility from smoking exceeds utility from social interaction. Overall, smoking is unduly often accepted when accommodating smoking is the social norm. The introduction of smoking and non-smoking areas does not overcome this specific inefficiency.We conclude that smoking bans may represent a required (second-best) policy.

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Paper provided by Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen in its series Ruhr Economic Papers with number 0003.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rwi:repape:0003
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