NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Kathleen Mullan Harris

155 Hamilton Hall
Chapell Hill
North Carolina, 27599-3210

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: University of North Carolina

NBER Working Papers and Publications

December 2017The Influence of Peer Genotypes and Behavior on Smoking Outcomes: Evidence from Add Health
with Ramina Sotoudeh, Dalton Conley: w24113
We introduce a novel use of genetic data for studying social influences on behavior: Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health), we deploy the distribution of genotypes in a given grade within a school to instrument the influence of peer smoking on an individual’s own smoking behavior. We argue that this design alleviates many problems inherent to estimating peer effects. Using this approach, we find the relationship between peer smoking and individual smoking to be larger than that estimated by prior studies. Further, we explore the reduced form relationship between peer genotypes and ego smoking and find that the impact of peers’ genetic risk for smoking on ego’s smoking behavior is at least half as large as the effect of individual’s own g...
 
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