Smoking Initiation: Peers and Personality

Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper TI 15-093/V

55 Pages Posted: 4 Aug 2015

See all articles by Chih-Sheng Hsieh

Chih-Sheng Hsieh

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)

Hans van Kippersluis

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 3, 2015

Abstract

Social interactions are generally thought to play an important role in smoking initiation among adolescents. In this paper we exploit detailed friendship nominations in the US Add Health data, and extend the Spatial Autoregressive Model (SAR) model to deal with (i) endogenous peer selection, and (ii) unobserved contextual effects, in order to identify the endogenous peer effect. We show that peer effects in the uptake of smoking are predominantly affecting individuals who are emotionally unstable. That is, individuals with "weaker" personalities are more vulnerable to peer pressure. This finding not only helps understanding heterogeneity in peer effects, but additionally provides a promising mechanism through which personality affects later life health and socioeconomic outcomes.

Keywords: Smoking, Peer effects, Personality, SAR model, Bayesian MCMC

JEL Classification: C11, C21, I12

Suggested Citation

Hsieh, Chih-Sheng and van Kippersluis, Hans, Smoking Initiation: Peers and Personality (August 3, 2015). Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper TI 15-093/V, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2639557 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2639557

Chih-Sheng Hsieh (Contact Author)

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)

Shatin, N.T.
Hong Kong
Hong Kong

Hans Van Kippersluis

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) ( email )

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, NL 3062 PA
Netherlands

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