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Journal Article

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

Authors

Publication date

Aug 2020

Summary

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.

Published in

Economics and Human Biology

Volume

38:100899

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ehb.2020.100899

ISSN

16

Subjects

Psychology, Public Policy, and Health

Links

University of Essex, Albert Sloman Library Periodicals *restricted to University of Essex registered users* - https://lib.essex.ac.uk/iii/encore/record/C__Rb1646428

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