Dynamic Social Interactions and Health Risk Behavior

70 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2019

See all articles by Tiziano Arduini

Tiziano Arduini

University of Bologna-Department of Economics

Alberto Bisin

New York University (NYU) - Department of Economics; New York University (NYU) - Center for Experimental Social Science (CESS); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Onur Özgür

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Business School

Eleonora Patacchini

Cornell University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 2019

Abstract

We study risky behavior of adolescents. Concentrating on smoking and alcohol use, we structurally estimate a dynamic social interaction model in the context of students' school networks included in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). The model allows for forward-looking behavior of agents, addiction effects, and social interactions in the form of preferences for conformity in the social network. We find strong evidence for forward looking dynamics and addiction effects. We also find that social interactions in the estimated dynamic model are quantitatively large. A misspecified static model would fit data substantially worse, while producing a much smaller estimate of the social interaction effect. With the estimated dynamic model, a temporary shock to students' preferences in the 10th grade has effects on their behavior in grades 10, 11, 12, with estimated social multipliers 1:53, 1:03, and 0:76, respectively. The multiplier effect of a permanent shock is much larger, up to 3:7 in grade 12. Moreover (semi-) elasticities of a permanent change in the availability of alcohol or cigarettes at home on child risky behavior implied by the dynamic equilibrium are 25%, 63%, and 79%, in grades 10, 11, 12, respectively.

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Suggested Citation

Arduini, Tiziano and Bisin, Alberto and Özgür, Onur and Patacchini, Eleonora, Dynamic Social Interactions and Health Risk Behavior (September 2019). NBER Working Paper No. w26223. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3450249

Tiziano Arduini (Contact Author)

University of Bologna-Department of Economics ( email )

Piazzale Scaravilli 2
Bologna, 40126
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/tizianoarduini/

Alberto Bisin

New York University (NYU) - Department of Economics

14 West 4th Street
New York, NY 10012
United States

New York University (NYU) - Center for Experimental Social Science (CESS) ( email )

One Washington Place
New York, NY 10003
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Onur Özgür

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Business School ( email )

200 Leicester Street
Carlton, Victoria 3053 3186
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/onurozgurresearch/home

Eleonora Patacchini

Cornell University ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

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