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Smoking Behavior of Older Adults: A Panel Data Analysis Using HRS

Kajal Lahiri () and Xian Li
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Xian Li: University at Albany, SUNY

Journal of Quantitative Economics, 2020, vol. 18, issue 3, No 2, 495-523

Abstract: Abstract Using longitudinal data from Health and Retirement Surveys over 1992–2010, this paper analyzes decisions by older American to continue smoking and the number of cigarettes to consume using two-part hurdle models with correlated effects. We build on the existing literature by incorporating a myriad of factors including cigarette prices, health shocks and smoke-free laws in one econometric framework. Our estimates indicate that higher cigarette prices play an important role in both reducing participation and the intensity of consumption even for this adult population. In addition, health shocks, as measured by newly diagnosed diseases, raise the probability of quitting, highlighting the ‘curative’ aspects of cessation. However, we find very little effect of health on smoking intensity if an older adult does not quit after a health shock. Per capita cigarette consumption in the US declined by over 64% during the period. We show that increased cigarette prices and health shocks together contribute almost equally to explain nearly 86% of the decline, with little that can be attributed to smoking bans and anti-smoking sentiment.

Keywords: Smoking cessation; Price elasticity; Health shocks; Hurdle model; Correlated random effects; Self-selection; Anti-smoking laws (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C23 C25 I13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1007/s40953-020-00196-x

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