HETEROGENEOUS RATES OF TIME PREFERENCE AND THE DECISION TO SMOKE

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Abstract

Individuals with higher personal rates of time preference will be more likely to smoke. Although previous studies have found no evidence of a relationship between smoking and rates of time preference, analysis of implicit rates of time preference associated with workers' wage fatality risk trade-offs indicates that smokers have higher rates of time preference with respect to years of life. Current smokers have an implied rate of time preference of 13.8% as compared to 8.1% for nonsmokers. Current smokers who are blue-collar workers have rates of time preference with respect to years of life of 16.3% compared to 7.8% for nonsmoking blue-collar workers. (JEL I12, D81, D91)

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