NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Is Smoking Behavior Culturally Determined? Evidence from British Immigrants

Rebekka Christopoulou, Dean R. Lillard

NBER Working Paper No. 19036
Issued in May 2013
NBER Program(s):   HE

We exploit migration patterns from the UK to Australia, South Africa, and the US to investigate whether a person’s decision to smoke is determined by culture. For each country, we use retrospective data to describe individual smoking trajectories over the life-course. For the UK, we use these trajectories to measure culture by cohort and cohort-age, and more accurately relative to the extant literature. Our proxy predicts smoking participation of second-generation British immigrants but not that of non-British immigrants and natives. Researchers can apply our strategy to estimate culture effects on other outcomes when retrospective or longitudinal data are available.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w19036

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