If you drink, don't smoke: Joint associations between risky health behaviors and labor market outcomes

Petri Böckerman*, Ari Hyytinen, Jaakko Kaprio, Terhi Maczulskij

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines the links between risky health behaviors and labor market success. We provide new evidence on the joint relationships between the most prominent forms of risky health behavior − alcohol consumption, smoking and physical inactivity − and long-term labor market outcomes. We use twin data for Finnish men and women linked to register-based individual information on earnings and labor market attachment. The twin data allow us to account for shared family and environmental factors and to measure risky health behaviors in 1975 and 1981. The long-term labor market outcomes were measured in adulthood as an average over the period 1990–2009. The sample sizes are 2156 and 2498 twins, for men and women, respectively. We find that being both a smoker and a heavy drinker in early adulthood is negatively related to long-term earnings and employment later in life, especially for men. We conclude that how and why risky health behaviors cluster and how that affects individual level outcomes call for more attention.

Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalSocial Science and Medicine
Issue numberJune
Pages (from-to)55-63
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 26.04.2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 511 Economics
  • Finland
  • Risky health behaviors
  • Alcohol consumption;
  • Smoking
  • Physical activity
  • Earnings
  • Employment


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