Smoking Initiation: Peers and Personality

54 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2016

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: September 15, 2015

Abstract

Social interactions are widely recognized to play an important role in smoking initiation among adolescents. In this paper we hypothesize that individual with `stronger' personalities (i.e. emotionally stable, conscientious individuals) are better able to resist peer pressure in the uptake of smoking. 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 heterogeneity in peer effects with respect to personality. The results indicate 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 (September 15, 2015). CESR-Schaeffer Working Paper No. 2016-004, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2724888 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2724888

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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