NBER Working Papers by Joni Hersch

Contact and additional information for this authorAll papers and publicationsWorking Papers onlyWorking Papers with publication info

Working Papers

October 2009Tobacco Regulation through Litigation: The Master Settlement Agreement
with W. Kip Viscusi: w15422
The 1998 Master Settlement Agreement resolved the unprecedented litigation in which the states sought to recoup the cigarette-related Medicaid costs. The litigation was settled through a combination of negotiated regulatory requirements and financial payments of about $250 billion over 25 years. Settlement payments received by states are strongly related to smoking-related medical costs but are also related to political factors. The payments largely took the form of an excise tax equivalent, raising potential antitrust concerns. The regulatory restrictions imposed by the agreement also raised antitrust concerns. However, there has been no evident shift in industry concentration. The increase in advertising and marketing expenses has largely taken the form of price discounts. The set...
November 2007The Mortality Cost to Smokers
with W. Kip Viscusi: w13599
This article estimates the mortality cost of smoking based on the first labor market estimates of the value of statistical life by smoking status. Using these values in conjunction with the increase in the mortality risk over the life cycle due to smoking, the value of statistical life by age and gender, and information on the number of packs smoked over the life cycle, produces an estimate of the private mortality cost of smoking of $222 per pack for men and $94 per pack for women in 2006 dollars, based on a 3 percent discount rate. At discount rates of 15 percent or more, the cost decreases to under $25 per pack.
December 2005The Generational Divide in Support for Environmental Policies: European Evidence
with W. Kip Viscusi: w11859
This article examines age variations in support for environmental protection policies that affect climate change using a sample of over 14,000 respondents to a 1999 Eurobarometer survey. There is a steady decline with age in whether respondents are willing to incur higher gasoline prices to protect the environment. This relationship remains after controlling for socioeconomic characteristics. There are age-related differences in information about environmental risks, information sources about the environment, perceived health risks from climate change, and degree of worry about climate change. However, taking these factors into account does not eliminate the age variation in willingness to pay more for gasoline to protect the environment.
March 2003A Workers' Lobby to Provide Portable Benefits
How can workers have a voice in the face of declining unionization and rising nontraditional career paths? To demonstrate how a new labor market institution can emerge, I develop a model of fundraising by a workers' organization in which the founder must allocate resources between the provision of public goods, which attracts foundation grants, and the provision of private goods, which attracts individual members. My case study for analyzing the performance of the model is Working Today, a new organization founded with the objectives of representing all workers and shifting employment rights from the current employer-based regime to one that assigns rights to individuals. Working Today has evolved from an organization funded by foundation grants that attempted to represent all workers, t...

Contact and additional information for this authorAll papers and publicationsWorking Papers onlyWorking Papers with publication info

NBER Videos

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email:

Contact Us