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Smoking within the Household: Spousal Peer Effects and Children's Health Implications

  • Canta, Chiara
  • Dubois, Pierre

This paper studies spousal peer effects on the smoking behaviour and their implication for the health of children through passive smoking. Smoking decisions are modeled as equilibrium strategies of an incomplete information game within the couple. Using data from the French Health Survey 2002-2003, we identify two distinct effects linked to spousal behaviour: a smoking enhancing effect of smoking partners and a smoking deterring effect of non smoking partners. On the one hand, having a smoking partner might make smoking more valuable because of the possibility of smoking together. On the other hand, having a non smoking partner might reduce the utility of smoking because the smoker partially internalises the nuisance imposed on the partner. An implication of these findings is that the smoking behaviour could differ qualitatively in couples in which both partners smoke and in which just one partner smokes. This interpretation is supported by our finding that the respiratory health of children is negatively affected only if both parents smoke.

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Paper provided by Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) in its series TSE Working Papers with number 11-260.

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Date of creation: Oct 2011
Date of revision: Jan 2014
Publication status: Published in The B. E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy (Advances), 2015.
Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:25234
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  1. Jones, Andrew M., 1994. "Health, addiction, social interaction and the decision to quit smoking," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 93-110, March.
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  16. Donald S. Kenkel & Joseph V. Terza, 2001. "The effect of physician advice on alcohol consumption: count regression with an endogenous treatment effect," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(2), pages 165-184.
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