Smoking and long-term labour market outcomes

Petri Böckerman*, Ari Hyytinen, Jaakko Kaprio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)



To examine the long-term effects of smoking on labour market outcomes using twin data matched to register-based individual information on earnings.


Twin data for Finnish men born 1945-1957 was used to remove the shared environmental and genetic factors. The results were subjected to extensive robustness testing. Lifetime cigarette consumption was measured by (cumulative) cigarette pack-years in early adulthood. The average of an individual’s earnings (and,  alternatively, taxable income) was measured over asubsequent 15-year period in later adulthood.


Smokers have lower long-term income and earnings. For example, controlling for the shared environmental and genetic factors using the data on genetically identical twins, smoking is negatively associated with lifetime income (p=0.015). The negative association was also robust to the use of various covariates, such as education, health indicators and extraversion.


Smoking is negatively related to long-term labour market outcomes. The provision ofinformation about the indirect monetary costs of smoking may thus complement the policy efforts that aim at educating consumers about the health costs of smoking.

Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalTobacco Control
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)348-353
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 25.02.2014
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 511 Economics
  • Cigarette-smoking
  • Personality-traits
  • Sickness absence
  • Tobacco smoking
  • Risk-factors
  • Mortality
  • Income
  • Smokers
  • Cancer
  • Adults


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