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Risk and Time Preferences, Subjective Social Status, and Smoking Behaviors

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Objectives: In the context of rapidly developing economies, socioeconomic changes bring about increased inequality, lower perceived social status, stress, and depression, all of which contribute to the high incidence of smoking. In this study, we investigate the linkages between social status and smoking behaviors. Methods: Using data from Indonesia, we use regression analysis to study the roles of socioeconomic factors and individual risk and time preferences in determining smoking behaviors. Results: We find that both objective and perceived social status matter, but the role of perceived social status is orders of magnitude larger than that of objective social status measures, such as income or education. Conclusions: Whereas traditional policies focused on income or education can be effective in reducing smoking, our results suggest that much more can be achieved through policies that target inequality and socioeconomic stress.
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Keywords: RISK PREFERENCES; SMOKING; SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS; SUBJECTIVE SOCIAL STATUS; TIME PREFERENCES

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Younoh Kim, Associate Professor, Department of Economics and International Business, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX, United States 2: Vlad Radoias, Associate Professor, Department of Economics and International Business, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX, United States;, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: March 1, 2021

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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