The Program on Children “focuses on economic behavior related to children, child health, and child economic and social well being.” Professor Simon’s research interests include health inequality, policy and health capital accumulation, early life and childhood human capital accumulation, and public policy evaluation.
Professor David Simon published his paper “Does Early Life Exposure to Cigarette Smoke Permanently Harm Childhood Welfare? Evidence from Cigarette Tax Hikes” in the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.
Professor Simon used restricted use health survey data to link cigarette taxes to cohorts of children. This shows that in-utero exposure to a dollar increase in the state cigarette tax causes a 10% decrease in sick days from school and a 4.7% decrease in having two or more doctor visits. Jointly these findings support the argument that exposure to cigarette smoke in utero carries significant medium-term costs, and that excise taxes can lead to lasting intergenerational improvements in wellbeing.