Information, Development, and Life-course Smoking Pattern in Mainland China and Taiwan over 50 Years

Tuesday, January 28, 2014
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Philippines Conference Room
  • Dean R. Lillard

We use retrospectively reported data on smoking behavior of residents of Mainland China and Taiwan to compare and contrast patterns in smoking behavior over the life-course of individuals in these two regions. Because we construct the life-history of smoking for all survey respondents, our data cover an exceptionally long period of time – up to fifty years in both samples. During this period, both societies experienced substantial social and economic changes. The two regions developed at much different rates and the political systems of the two areas evolved in very different ways. More importantly, governments in the two areas set policies that caused the flow of information about the health risks of smoking to differ across the regions and over time. We exploit these differences, using counts of articles in newspapers from 1951 to present, to explore whether and how the arrival of information affected life-course smoking decisions of residents in the two areas. We also present evidence that suggests how prices/taxes and key historical events might have affected decisions to smoke.

Dean Lillard received his PhD in economics from the University of Chicago in 1991. From 1991 to 2012, he was a faculty member and senior research associate in the Department of Policy Analysis and Management at Cornell University. In August 2012 he joined the Department Human Sciences at Ohio State University as an Associate Professor. He is Director and Project Manager of the Cross-National Equivalent File study that produces cross-national data. He is a member of the American Economics Association, the Population Association of America, the International Association for Research on Income and Wealth, the International Health Economics Association, the American Society for Health Economics, a Research Associate at the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin, Germany, and a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. He serves on the advisory board of the Danish National Institute for Social Research in Copenhagen, Denmark and the Cross-National Studies: Interdisciplinary Research and Training Program – a collaborative program run by the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN), and together with the Mershon Centre at OSU.

Dean Lillard's current research focuses on health economics, the economics of schooling, and international comparisons of economic behavior. His research in health economics is primarily focused on the economics of the marketing and consumption of cigarettes and alcohol. His research on the economics of schooling includes studies of direct effects of policy on educational outcomes and on the role that education plays in other economic behaviors such as smoking, production of health, and earnings. His cross-national research ranges widely from comparisons of the role that obesity plays in determining labor market outcomes to comparisons of smoking behavior cross-nationally.