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The role of time preferences in the intergenerational transfer of smoking

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Heather BrownORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Evidence suggests that maternal and offspring smoking behaviour is correlated. Little is known about the mechanisms through which this intergenerational transfer occurs. This paper explores the role of time preferences. Whilst time preference is likely to be heritable and correlated with health investments, its role in the intergenerational transmission of smoking has not been explored previously. This is the first paper to empirically test this. Data (2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, and-2008) from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) are used. Estimates using a pooled probit model, show that there is not a direct effect of maternal time preference, measured in terms of financial planning horizon, on the likelihood that their offspring is a smoker. However, there is an indirect effect of maternal time preference. Sons of mothers that are smokers and have a shorter planning horizon are 6% more likely to smoke than if their mother had a longer planning horizon and daughters of mothers that smoke with a shorter planning horizon are 7% more likely to smoke themselves than if their mother had a longer planning horizon.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Brown H, van der Pol M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Health Economics

Year: 2014

Volume: 23

Issue: 12

Pages: 1493-1501

Print publication date: 01/12/2014

Online publication date: 19/08/2013

Acceptance date: 16/07/2013

Date deposited: 15/01/2015

ISSN (print): 1057-9230

ISSN (electronic): 1099-1050

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Ltd


DOI: 10.1002/hec.2987


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