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The Effects of Daughters on Health Choices and Risk Behaviour



Little is known about why some human beings make risky life-choices. This paper provides evidence that people's health decisions and addictive actions are influenced by the gender of their children. Having a daughter leads individuals -- in micro data from Great Britain and the United States -- to reduce their smoking, drinking, and drug-taking. The paper's results are consistent with the hypothesis that human beings 'self-medicate' when under stress.

Suggested Citation

  • N Powdthavee & S Wu & A Oswald, 2010. "The Effects of Daughters on Health Choices and Risk Behaviour," Discussion Papers 10/03, Department of Economics, University of York.
  • Handle: RePEc:yor:yorken:10/03

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Eckel, Catherine C. & Grossman, Philip J., 2008. "Differences in the Economic Decisions of Men and Women: Experimental Evidence," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
    2. DeCicca, Philip & Kenkel, Don & Mathios, Alan, 2008. "Cigarette taxes and the transition from youth to adult smoking: Smoking initiation, cessation, and participation," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 904-917, July.
    3. Christopher Carpenter & Carlos Dobkin, 2009. "The Effect of Alcohol Consumption on Mortality: Regression Discontinuity Evidence from the Minimum Drinking Age," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 164-182, January.
    4. Shelly Lundberg & Elaina Rose, 2003. "Child gender and the transition to marriage," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 40(2), pages 333-349, May.
    5. Pham-Kanter, Genevieve, 2010. "The Gender Weight Gap: Sons, Daughters, and Maternal Weight," MPRA Paper 28997, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Why do daughters have a more positive impact on parents than sons?
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2010-04-13 19:29:00
    2. Want to be healthy? Have a Daughter
      by Ariel Goldring in Free Market Mojo on 2010-03-24 13:07:26
    3. The Effects of Daughters on Health Choices and Risk[y] Behaviour
      by Miguel in Simoleon Sense on 2010-03-25 06:26:14
    4. Girls... don't want you to have fun: daughters & risk taking
      by Kevin Denny in Geary Behaviour Centre on 2010-03-24 06:43:00

    More about this item


    Addictive behaviour; gender; daughters; smoking; drinking; attitudes.;

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health

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