A Note on Smoking Behavior and Health Risk Taking

  • Christian Pfeifer Leuphana University Lueneburg
Keywords: cigarettes, health, risk aversion, smoking


This research note presents two economic frameworks to describe the relationship between individual health risk aversion and smoking behavior. Using a large-scale representative data set (GSOEP), direct empirical evidence is found that individuals, who are more health risk taking, are more likely to be smokers and have a higher demand for cigarettes smoked per day. Non-linear specifications of risk taking reveal, however, that the risk effects are only significant for high risk takers. The estimated effects hold also separately for men and women.