Smoking Habits: Like Father, Like Son, Like Mother, Like Daughter?

Smoking Habits: Like Father, Like Son, Like Mother, Like Daughter?

Abstract

We use instrumental variable methods to investigate whether the impact of parental smoking habits on their children’s smoking decisions is a causal one. We find suggestive evidence of same-sex role models in two-parent households: mothers play a more crucial role in determining their daughters’ smoking decisions, whereas fathers’ smoking habits are primarily imitated by their sons. This same-sex parent–child link is no longer at play for teenagers living in single-mother households, for whom the influence of their only cohabiting parent turns out to be predominant independently of gender.

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