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Social Interactions and Smoking

29 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2008  

David M. Cutler

Harvard University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Edward L. Glaeser

Harvard University - John F. Kennedy School of Government, Department of Economics; Brookings Institution; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Date Written: March 2008

Abstract

Are individuals more likely to smoke when they are surrounded by smokers? In this paper, we examine the evidence for peer effects in smoking. We address the endogeneity of peers by looking at the impact of workplace smoking bans on spousal and peer group smoking. Using these bans as an instrument, we find that individuals whose spouses smoke are 40 percent more likely to smoke themselves. We also find evidence for the existence of a social multiplier in that the impact of smoking bans and individual income becomes stronger at higher levels of aggregation. This social multiplier could explain the large time series drop in smoking among some demographic groups.

Keywords: Welfare, Health Care, Social Policy

Suggested Citation

Cutler, David M. and Glaeser, Edward L., Social Interactions and Smoking (March 2008). Harvard Institute of Economic Research Discussion Paper No. 2153; HKS Working Paper No. RWP08-18. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1095336 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1095336

David M. Cutler

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

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Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

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Edward L. Glaeser (Contact Author)

Harvard University - John F. Kennedy School of Government, Department of Economics ( email )

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Brookings Institution

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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