NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

What Explains Differences in Smoking, Drinking and Other Health-Related Behaviors

David Cutler, Edward Glaeser

NBER Working Paper No. 11100
Issued in February 2005
NBER Program(s):   HC   HE   AG

We explore economic model of health behaviors. While the standard economic model of health as an investment is generally supported empirically, the ability of this model to explain heterogeneity across individuals is extremely limited. Most prominently, the correlation of different health behaviors across people is virtually zero, suggest that standard factors such as variation in discount rates or the value of life are not the drivers of behavior. We focus instead on two other factors: genetics; and behavioral-specific situational factors. The first factor is empirically important, and we suspect the second is as well.

download in pdf format
   (132 K)

email paper

The NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health provides summaries of publications like this.  You can sign up to receive the NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health by email.

This paper is available as PDF (132 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w11100

Published: Cutler, David M. and Edward Glaeser. "What Explains Differences In Smoking, Drinking, And Other Health-Related Behaviors?," American Economic Review, 2005, v95(2,May), 238-242.

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Cutler and Lleras-Muney w12352 Education and Health: Evaluating Theories and Evidence
Cawley and Ruhm w17081 The Economics of Risky Health Behaviors
Cutler and Glaeser w13477 Social Interactions and Smoking
Cutler and Glaeser w12124 Why Do Europeans Smoke More than Americans?
Cutler, Glaeser, and Shapiro w9446 Why Have Americans Become More Obese?
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
Data
People
About

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

Contact Us