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Student
Title
Supervisor
Faculty
Educational Programme
Final Grade
Year of Graduation
Mikhail Bogdanov
Economic and Social Factors of Tobacco Consumption in a Contemporary Russia
Sociology
(Bachelor’s programme)
2017
In this paper, we attempted to assess the strength of the influence of social and economic factors on individual decisions about whether to smoke or not and on volume of smoking (for smokers), taking into account demographic, consumer and contextual variables. The source of empirical data was the data of the "RLMS-HSE" for 2005-2016. The evaluation of the factors was carried out in two stages. At the first stage, the factors influencing the decision about smoking were assessed, and at the second stage the factors determining the amount of tobacco consumption by smokers. It was estimated as a static model of consumption, and myopic one, that is, taking into account the experience of the past consumption of tobacco. In addition, to adjust the possible selectivity of the sub-sample of smokers, the Heckman method was employed, which allowed obtaining unbiased estimates of the factors of the volume of tobacco consumption. Within the framework of the model of myopic addiction, an attempt was also made to estimate past consumption using instrumental variables. However, we failed to find powerful instruments that would have been good predictors of past consumption and would have been weakly related to the current one. It was found that the decision on whether to smoke or not is more determined by social factors, whereas the influence of such economic variables as prices is insignificant.

In the case of a decision on the amount of consumption, one can not speak of the primacy of social factors, nor can one speak of the dominance of economic factors. Proceeding from the high power of the influence of the previous consumption experience, that is, in fact, the high degree of addiction of smoking, it can be assumed that the dependence formed by tobacco, if not levelling the influence of other factors, at least reduces them to a minimum.

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