Determinants and Consequences of Health Behaviour: New Evidence from German Micro Data

32 Pages Posted: 26 Dec 2009 Last revised: 29 Mar 2011

See all articles by Brit S. Schneider

Brit S. Schneider

University of Bayreuth

Udo Schneider

Techniker Krankenkasse

Date Written: December 21, 2009


The economic costs of chronic health conditions and severe illnesses like diabetes, coronary heart disease or cancer are immense. Several clinical trials give information about the impor-tance of individual behaviour for the prevalence of these illnesses. Changes in health relevant behaviour may therefore lead to a decline of avoidable illnesses and related health care costs. In this context, we use German micro data to identify determinants of smoking, drinking and obesity. Our empirical approach allows for the simultaneity between adverse health behaviour and self-reported health as a measure of the individual health capital stock. We can show that health behaviour is related to the socioeconomic status of an individual. Furthermore, we find gender-specific differences in behaviour as well as differences in the determinants of drinking, smoking and heavy body weight in particular.

Keywords: health behaviour, multivariate probit, education, labour force participation

JEL Classification: I12, C31, D12

Suggested Citation

Schneider, Brit S. and Schneider, Udo, Determinants and Consequences of Health Behaviour: New Evidence from German Micro Data (December 21, 2009). SOEPpaper No. 253 , Available at SSRN: or

Brit S. Schneider

University of Bayreuth ( email )

Universitatsstr 30
Bayreuth, D-95447


Udo Schneider (Contact Author)

Techniker Krankenkasse ( email )

Bramfelder Str. 140
D-22305 Hamburg

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