Empirical Economics

, Volume 47, Issue 2, pp 753–780 | Cite as

Survival expectations, subjective health and smoking: evidence from SHARE

  • Silvia Balia


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 expectations Subjective health Risk perception Smoking EM algorithm 

JEL classification

I12 C0 C30 C41 



This paper uses data from release 2.5.0 of the SHARE results; these data are current as of May 24th, 2011. The study data are supplied by CentERdata. The collection of SHARE data in 2004–2007 was primarily funded by the 5th and 6th framework programmes of the European Commission. More information about the SHARE is available at I wish to thank Andrew Jones, Casey Queen, Teresa Bago d’Uva, Martin Forster, Rinaldo Brau, Silvana Robone, Cinzia Di Novi, Emanuela Marrocu, participants in the SIEP conference (2008) and in the iHEA congress in Toronto (2011), two anonymous referee and an anonymous associate editor for valuable suggestions and comments.

Supplementary material

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


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

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

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