The European Journal of Health Economics

, Volume 16, Issue 8, pp 813–834 | Cite as

Who is afraid of smoking bans? An evaluation of the effects of the Spanish clean air law on expenditure at hospitality venues

  • Jaume García-Villar
  • Ángel López-Nicolás
Original Paper



In January 2011 Spain modified clean air legislation in force since 2006, removing all existing exceptions applicable to hospitality venues. Although this legal reform was backed by all political parties with parliamentary representation, the government’s initiative was contested by the tobacco industry and its allies in the hospitality industry. One of the most voiced arguments against the reform was its potentially disruptive effect on the revenue of hospitality venues. This paper evaluates the impact of this reform on household expenditure at restaurants and bars and cafeterias.

Methods and empirical strategy

We used household expenditure micro-data for years 2006–2012 to estimate models for the probability of observing expenditures and the expected level of expenditure. We applied a before–after analysis with a wide range of controls for confounding factors and a flexible modeling of time effects in order to identify the effects of the reform.


Our results suggest that the reform caused a 2 % reduction in the proportion of households containing smokers but did not cause reductions in households’ expenditures on restaurant services or on bars and cafeteria services.


Smoking ban Hospitality venue Household expenditure Policy evaluation 

JEL Classification

C21 C25 I10 I18 



Support from Ministerio de Educación project ECO2008-06395-C05-04, co-funded by European Regional Development Fund, and from Fundación Séneca through project 08646/PHCS/08 is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jaume García-Villar
    • 1
    • 3
  • Ángel López-Nicolás
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Departament d’ Economia i EmpresaUniversitat Pompeu FabraBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de EconomíaUniversidad Politécnica de CartagenaCartagenaSpain
  3. 3.Centre de Recerca en Economia i SalutUniversitat Pompeu FabraBarcelonaSpain

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