Friday, September 6, 2013

How smoking hurts you on the labor market

Smoking not only is bad for your health, it also lowers your wage. Of course, this may not come from the mere fact that you are smoking, but from various characteristics that are typically associated with smokers. Once you have taken into account the latter, what is the true drop in wages that you suffer from smoking? Does the number of cigarettes a day then matter?

Julie Hotchkiss and Melinda Pitts answer there two questions by looking at data from the Current Population Survey. They find that about 16 percentages points of the 24% wage loss of smokers come from their common characteristics, such as lower education. The rest is from smoking itself, and the number of cigarettes does not matter, the first one is enough. One more reason not to take on smoking!

1 comment:

Brad F said...

I skimmed the abstract, not the body of the paper; what "endowments" do smokers bring to work that offend employers tolerance.

If # of cigarettes dont play a role, one vs 40/day - smell, absenteeism, etc., cant be driving force.