Empirical Economics

, Volume 47, Issue 2, pp 753–780

Survival expectations, subjective health and smoking: evidence from SHARE


DOI: 10.1007/s00181-013-0750-1

Cite this article as:
Balia, S. Empir Econ (2014) 47: 753. doi:10.1007/s00181-013-0750-1


This article aims to assess how the risk perceptions of smokers affect survival expectations and subjective health. Data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe, which include a numerical measure of subjective survival probability, are used to estimate a joint recursive system of equations that describe the relationships among survival expectations, subjective health status and smoking duration. A finite mixture model is used to address endogeneity and unobservable heterogeneity. This approach allows for two types of individuals with different observable characteristics to be identified in the examined population. We find that only in the population of the first type, current and former smokers incorporate the effects of smoking duration into their assessments of survival probabilities. For both types, quitting smoking affects current perceptions of smoking risks, causing the overestimation of both survival probability and subjective health.


Survival expectationsSubjective healthRisk perceptionSmokingEM algorithm

JEL classification


Supplementary material

181_2013_750_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (117 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (pdf 117 KB)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics and BusinessUniversity of Cagliari and CRENoSCagliariItaly