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The impact of public smoking bans on well-being externalities: evidence from a natural experiment

Research output: Working paper

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Abstract

Recent studies on the effects of anti-smoking policies on subjective well-being present mixed results and focus mainly on smokers. We contribute to the literature by exploiting the policy experiment provided by the UK public smoking bans and evaluating the impact of smoking bans on the subjective well-being of smokers, non-smokers and couples of different types of smokers. We employ matching techniques combined with flexible difference-in-differences fixed effects panel data models on data from the British Household Panel Survey. We find that the UK public smoking bans appear to have a statistically significant short-term positive impact on the well-being of married individuals, especially among couples with dependent children. These effects appear to be substantial in size, robust to alternative specifications and may be driven by positive externalities due to parental altruism.