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The Economics of Smoking Bans

  • Charles A.M. de Bartolome

    (University of Colorado)

  • Ian J. Irvine

    (Concordia University, Montreal)

While the empirical literature on smoking bans is extensive, little theory has been developed. This paper examines the welfare impact of smoking bans in an economy where smokers’ utility is reduced by a workplace/public place ban. The government has two instruments - increasing the price through taxation, or limiting when the product can be consumed through a ban. Its ability to reduce smoking through taxation is limited by a black market where cigarettes are not taxed. We show that the quantity instrument (ban) is always welfareenhancing. The model has application to other addictive activities.

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File URL: http://www.ucd.ie/geary/static/publications/workingpapers/gearywp201027.pdf
File Function: First version, 2010
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Paper provided by Geary Institute, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 201027.

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Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: 01 May 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucd:wpaper:201027
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  1. Charles A.M. de Bartolome, 2007. "Tax competition and the creation of redundant products," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1213-1236, November.
  2. Gary S. Becker & Michael Grossman & Kevin M. Murphy, 1990. "An Empirical Analysis of Cigarette Addiction," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 61, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  3. Joni Hersch, 2005. "Smoking Restrictions as a Self-Control Mechanism," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 31(1), pages 5-21, July.
  4. W. Pesendorfer & F. Gul, 1999. "Temptation and Self-Control," Princeton Economic Theory Papers 99f1, Economics Department, Princeton University.
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