Does smoking have a causal effect on weight reduction?

Zhuo Chen, Steven T. Yen, David B. Eastwood

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


This study examines the relationship between smoking and body mass index (BMI) with a simultaneous equations system allowing for censoring and endogeneity of the number of cigarettes smoked, which alleviates simultaneity bias caused by unobserved heterogeneity and expansion bias by censoring in the regressor. The results suggest smoking may not have a strong long-term causal effect on body weight after controlling for the endogeneity. The negative relationship between smoking and BMI reported in the literature is potentially attributable to the aforementioned biases and should be interpreted with caution. The statistical procedure developed can be useful in other applications with a censored endogenous regressor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-67
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Family and Economic Issues
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Body mass index
  • Censored regressor
  • Overweight
  • Simultaneous equations system
  • Smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Economics and Econometrics


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