Spousal Effects in Smoking Cessation: Matching, Learning, or Bargaining?
Previous research studying the correlation in smoking behavior between spouses has discounted the role of bargaining or learning. Using the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), which contains information on smoking cessation and spouse's preferences, this paper presents an essential investigation of the importance of spousal bargaining or learning on the decision to cease smoking. We find, regardless of gender, when one member of couple ceases smoking this induces the other member to cease smoking through bargaining. Further, we find females demonstrate either altruistic behavior toward a spouse, who has suffered a health shock, or learning from their spouse's health shock.
The manuscript has benefited from the following individuals: Dhaval Dave, Susan Averett, Jennifer Kohn, two anonymous reviewers. The author wishes to acknowledge their insightful and helpful comments. The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.