Do Smokers Respond to Health Shocks?

Duke Economics Working Paper No. 00-08

37 Pages Posted: 27 Nov 2000

See all articles by V. Kerry Smith

V. Kerry Smith

Arizona State University (ASU) - Economics Department; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Donald H. Taylor

Duke University - Center for Health Policy, Law and Management

Frank A. Sloan

Duke University - Center for Health Policy, Law and Management; Duke University, Fuqua School of Business-Economics Group; Duke University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

F. Reed Johnson

Research Triangle Institute

William H. Desvousges

Triangle Economic Research

Abstract

This paper reports the first test of how exogenous health shocks impact people's longevity expectations. The analysis exploits the panel structure of the Health and Retirement Study and tests whether smokers, former smokers and those who never smoked react differently to serious, smoking related health shocks. The results support the conclusion that smokers have a different risk perception process. Smokers were only sensitive to their own smoking related illnesses while former smokers and those who never smoked react to a wider range of health related signals. These findings, along with related research on how smokers react to information messages, suggest that generalized messages about the hazards of smoking may be less effective than information about personal activity restrictions associated with smoking related diseases.

JEL Classification: I12, I18, J14

Suggested Citation

Smith, V. Kerry and Taylor, Donald H. and Sloan, Frank A. and Johnson, F. Reed and Desvousges, William H., Do Smokers Respond to Health Shocks?. Duke Economics Working Paper No. 00-08. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=236801 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.236801

V. Kerry Smith

Arizona State University (ASU) - Economics Department ( email )

Tempe, AZ 85287-3806
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Donald H. Taylor

Duke University - Center for Health Policy, Law and Management ( email )

Box 90253
Durham, NC 27708
United States
(919) 684-2361 (Phone)
(919) 684-6426 (Fax)

Frank A. Sloan (Contact Author)

Duke University - Center for Health Policy, Law and Management ( email )

Box 90253
Durham, NC 27708
United States
919-684-8047 (Phone)
919-684-6246 (Fax)

Duke University, Fuqua School of Business-Economics Group ( email )

Box 90097
Durham, NC 27708-0097
United States

Duke University - Department of Economics ( email )

213 Social Sciences Building
Box 90097
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

F. Reed Johnson

Research Triangle Institute ( email )

RTI-HS
P.O. Box 12194
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
United States
919-541-5958 (Phone)
919-541-7222 (Fax)

William H. Desvousges

Triangle Economic Research ( email )

2775 Meridian Parkway
Durham, NC 27713
United States

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