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The interaction between personality and health policy: empirical evidence from the UK smoking bans

Josten, Cecily and Lordan, Grace (2020) The interaction between personality and health policy: empirical evidence from the UK smoking bans. Economics and Human Biology, 38. ISSN 1570-677X

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.ehb.2020.100899


We investigate whether responses to the UK public places smoking ban depend on personality. Drawing on individual level panel data from the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) we exploit variation in the timing and location of these bans to establish their overall effect on smoking outcomes, and how this differs by personality. We measure personality using the Big Five personality traits. We are particularly interested in conscientiousness, given the evidence that it is a good proxy for self-control. Overall, we find that a one standard deviation increase in conscientiousness leads to a 1.4 percentage point reduction in the probability of smoking after the ban. Notably, this is the only Big Five personality trait that interacts with the smoking ban. This finding is very robust to different specifications.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 Published by Elsevier B.V.
Divisions: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
JEL classification: C - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods > C2 - Econometric Methods: Single Equation Models; Single Variables > C23 - Models with Panel Data
I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I1 - Health > I10 - General
I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I1 - Health > I12 - Health Production: Nutrition, Mortality, Morbidity, Suicide, Substance Abuse and Addiction, Disability, and Economic Behavior
H - Public Economics > H7 - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations > H75 - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2022 11:18
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 03:06

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