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The War on Drugs: Methamphetamine, Public Health, and Crime

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  • Carlos Dobkin
  • Nancy Nicosia

Abstract

In mid-1995, a government effort to reduce the supply of methamphetamine precursors successfully disrupted the methamphetamine market and interrupted a trajectory of increasing usage. The price of methamphetamine tripled and purity declined from 90 percent to 20 percent. Simultaneously, amphetaminerelated hospital and treatment admissions dropped 50 percent and 35 percent, respectively. Methamphetamine use among arrestees declined 55 percent. Although felony methamphetamine arrests fell 50 percent, there is no evidence of substantial reductions in property or violent crime. The impact was largely temporary. The price returned to its original level within four months; purity, hospital admissions, treatment admissions, and arrests approached preintervention levels within eighteen months. (JEL I12, K42)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 99 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 324-49

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:99:y:2009:i:1:p:324-49

Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.99.1.324
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  1. Miron, Jeffrey A, 1999. "Violence and the U.S. Prohibitions of Drug and Alcohol," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(1-2), pages 78-114, Fall.
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  8. Michael Grossman, 2004. "Individual Behaviors and Substance Use: The Role of Price," NBER Working Papers 10948, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Scott Cunningham & Keith Finlay, 2013. "Parental Substance Use And Foster Care: Evidence From Two Methamphetamine Supply Shocks," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(1), pages 764-782, 01.
  2. Pope, Devin G. & Pope, Jaren C., 2012. "Crime and property values: Evidence from the 1990s crime drop," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1-2), pages 177-188.
  3. Joshua Congdon-Hohman, 2011. "The Lasting Effects of Crime: The Relationship of Discovered Methamphetamine Laboratories and Home Values," Working Papers 1114, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.
  4. Angela K. Dills & Jeffrey A. Miron & Garrett Summers, 2010. "What Do Economists Know about Crime?," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of Crime: Lessons for and from Latin America, pages 269-302 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Lu, Xun & White, Halbert, 2014. "Robustness checks and robustness tests in applied economics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 178(P1), pages 194-206.
  6. Anderson, D. Mark, 2010. "Does information matter? The effect of the Meth Project on meth use among youths," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 732-742, September.

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