"Why Do Europeans Smoke More than Americans?"
NBER Working Paper No. W12124
Contact: DAVID M. CUTLER Harvard University - Department of Economics, National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) Auth-Page: http://ssrn.com/author=42210
Co-Author: EDWARD L. GLAESER Harvard University - Department of Economics, John F. Kennedy School of Government, The Brookings Institution, National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) Auth-Page: http://ssrn.com/author=20261
Full Text: http://ssrn.com/abstract=893779
ABSTRACT: While Americans are less healthy than Europeans along some dimensions (like obesity), Americans are significantly less likely to smoke than their European counterparts. This difference emerged in the 1970s and it is biggest among the most educated. The puzzle becomes larger once we account for cigarette prices and anti-smoking regulations, which are both higher in Europe. There is a nonmonotonic relationship between smoking and income; among richer countries and people, higher incomes are associated with less smoking. This can account for about one-fifth of the U.S./Europe difference. Almost one-half of the smoking difference appears to be the result of differences in beliefs about the health effects of smoking; Europeans are generally less likely to think that cigarette smoking is harmful.
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