Does Job Loss Make You Smoke and Gain Weight?

23 Pages Posted: 2 Sep 2014

See all articles by Jan Marcus

Jan Marcus

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 2014


This paper estimates the effect of involuntary job loss on smoking behaviour and body weight using German SOEP data. Baseline non‐smokers are more likely to start smoking due to job loss, while smokers do not intensify smoking. In particular, single individuals and those with lower health or socioeconomic status prior to job loss exhibit high rates of smoking initiation. Job loss increases body weight slightly, but significantly. The applied regression‐adjusted semiparametric difference‐in‐difference matching strategy is robust against selection on observables and time‐invariant unobservables. This paper provides an indirect test that the identifying assumption is not violated.

Suggested Citation

Marcus, Jan, Does Job Loss Make You Smoke and Gain Weight? (October 2014). Economica, Vol. 81, Issue 324, pp. 626-648, 2014. Available at SSRN: or

Jan Marcus (Contact Author)

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) ( email )

Mohrenstraße 58
Berlin, 10117

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