Smoking, Economics of

Book Section

Why five decades since smoking's harms were first widely publicized do 20% of US adults smoke? Theoretical frameworks to explain smoking come in three forms: rational, imperfectly rational, and irrational addiction. A reason rational people smoke and others do not is preferences differ, for example, smokers attribute less value to being healthy. Persons believing they have low life expectancy or underestimate the probability of adverse consequences may be more likely to smoke. Although theoretical disputes remain, there is some consensus, including: Raising price reduces demand; demand falls with rising educational attainment; smokers earn less; and smoking adversely affects health. Public policies seek to reduce smoking and its negative externalities with limited success.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Sloan, FA; Shah, SP

Published Date

  • January 1, 2014

Book Title

  • Encyclopedia of Health Economics

Start / End Page

  • 316 - 323

International Standard Book Number 13 (ISBN-13)

  • 9780123756794

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/B978-0-12-375678-7.00313-8

Citation Source

  • Scopus