Parental Substance Use And Foster Care: Evidence From Two Methamphetamine Supply Shocks
AbstractFoster care caseloads have almost doubled over the last two decades, but the cause of the growth is poorly understood. We study the role of parental methamphetamine (meth) use, which social workers have linked to recent growth in foster care admissions. To mitigate the impact of omitted variable bias, we take advantage of two significant, exogenous supply-side interventions in meth markets in 1995 and 1997, and find robust evidence that meth use has caused growth in foster care caseloads. Further, we identify the mechanisms by which increased meth use caused an increase in foster care caseloads. First, we find that treatment for meth abuse caused foster caseloads to fall in situations where a child was removed because of parental incarceration, suggesting that substance abuse treatment is a substitute for foster care services and more generally an effective demand-side intervention. Secondly, we find that parental meth use causes an increase in both child abuse and child neglect foster care cases. These results suggest that child welfare policies should be designed specifically for the children of meth-using parents.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.
Volume (Year): 51 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 (01)
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Other versions of this item:
- Scott Cunningham & Keith Finlay, 2010. "Parental Substance Abuse and Foster Care: Evidence from Two Methamphetamine Supply Shocks," Working Papers 1003, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
- I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Production
- J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
- K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Carlos Dobkin & Nancy Nicosia, 2009. "The War on Drugs: Methamphetamine, Public Health, and Crime," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 324-49, March.
- Mireia Jofre-Bonet & Jody L. Sindelar, 2002. "Drug Treatment as a Crime Fighting Tool," NBER Working Papers 9038, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Anderson, D. Mark & Hansen, Benjamin & Rees, Daniel I., 2012. "Medical Marijuana Laws and Teen Marijuana Use," IZA Discussion Papers 6592, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Scott Cunningham & Keith Finlay, 2013. "Identifying Demand Responses to Illegal Drug Supply Interdictions," Working Papers 1312, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
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