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Survival expectations, subjective health and smoking: evidence from European countries

  • S. Balia ;

This work aims to assess risk perception of smokers in reporting survival expectations and subjective health. In particular, the analysis investigates individuals’ perception of smoking effects in the short and long-term and whether they believe that such detrimental effects can be reversed. Data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe, which contain a numerical measure of subjective survival probability, are used to estimate a simultaneous recursive system of equations for survival expectation, subjective health and smoking. Endogeneity and unobservable heterogeneity are addressed using a finite mixture model. This approach identifies two types of individuals that differ in level of optimism, risk perception and rationality in addiction. One important result is that for both types past smokers perceive smoking consequences as reversible, with some difference between the short and long-term. We also find evidence of differences among current and past smokers in the way they evaluate the opportunity cost of tobacco consumption.

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Paper provided by HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York in its series Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers with number 11/30.

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Date of creation: Sep 2011
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Handle: RePEc:yor:hectdg:11/30
Contact details of provider: Postal: HEDG/HERC, Department of Economics and Related Studies, University of York, York, YO10 5DD, United Kingdom
Phone: (0)1904 323776
Fax: (0)1904 323759
Web page: http://www.york.ac.uk/economics/postgrad/herc/hedg/
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