Smoking Behavior of Older Adults: A Panel Data Analysis Using HRS

TitleSmoking Behavior of Older Adults: A Panel Data Analysis Using HRS
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsLahiri, KC, Li, X
JournalJournal of Quantitative Economics volume
Pagination495 - 523
Date Published2020/09/01
ISBN Number2364-1045
KeywordsSmoking, Smoking cessation

Using longitudinal data from Health and Retirement Surveys over 1992–2010, this paper analyzes decisions by older American to continue smoking and the number of cigarettes to consume using two-part hurdle models with correlated effects. We build on the existing literature by incorporating a myriad of factors including cigarette prices, health shocks and smoke-free laws in one econometric framework. Our estimates indicate that higher cigarette prices play an important role in both reducing participation and the intensity of consumption even for this adult population. In addition, health shocks, as measured by newly diagnosed diseases, raise the probability of quitting, highlighting the ‘curative’ aspects of cessation. However, we find very little effect of health on smoking intensity if an older adult does not quit after a health shock. Per capita cigarette consumption in the US declined by over 64% during the period. We show that increased cigarette prices and health shocks together contribute almost equally to explain nearly 86% of the decline, with little that can be attributed to smoking bans and anti-smoking sentiment.

Short TitleJournal of Quantitative Economics
Citation Key11114