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The effects of cannabis use on physical and mental health

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  • van Ours, Jan C.
  • Williams, Jenny
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    Abstract

    This paper investigates whether cannabis use affects physical and mental health. To do so, information on prime aged individuals living in Amsterdam in 1994 is used. Dutch data offer a clear advantage in estimating the health impacts of cannabis use because the legal status of cannabis in the Netherlands ensures that estimates are free from confounding with the physical and psychological effects of engaging in a criminal activity. Accounting for selection into cannabis use and shared frailties in mental and physical health, the results suggest that cannabis use reduces the mental wellbeing of men and women and the physical wellbeing of men. Although statistically significant, the magnitude of the effect of using cannabis on mental and physical health is found to be small.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.

    Volume (Year): 31 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 564-577

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:31:y:2012:i:4:p:564-577

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

    Related research

    Keywords: Cannabis use; Physical health; Mental health; Duration models;

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    References

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    1. Jan C. van Ours, 2006. "Cannabis, cocaine and jobs," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(7), pages 897-917.
    2. Jenny Williams & Christopher L. Skeels, 2006. "The impact of cannabis and cigarette use on health," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 969, The University of Melbourne.
    3. Cutler, D.M., 1992. "The Incidence of Adverse Medical Outcome Under Prospective Payment," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1603, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    4. Jeremy W. Bray, 2005. "Alcohol Use, Human Capital, and Wages," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(2), pages 279-312, April.
    5. Orphanides, Athanasios & Zervos, David, 1995. "Rational Addiction with Learning and Regret," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 739-58, August.
    6. Jan C. van Ours, 2007. "The Effects of Cannabis Use on Wages of Prime-age Males," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 69(5), pages 619-634, October.
    7. Zhou Yang & Donna B. Gilleskie & Edward C. Norton, 2009. "Health Insurance, Medical Care, and Health Outcomes: A Model of Elderly Health Dynamics," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(1).
    8. van Ours, Jan C. & Williams, Jenny, 2007. "Cannabis prices and dynamics of cannabis use," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 578-596, May.
    9. van Ours, Jan C. & Williams, Jenny, 2009. "Why parents worry: Initiation into cannabis use by youth and their educational attainment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 132-142, January.
    10. Mroz, Thomas A., 1999. "Discrete factor approximations in simultaneous equation models: Estimating the impact of a dummy endogenous variable on a continuous outcome," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 233-274, October.
    11. Jan C. van Ours & Jenny Williams, 2011. "Cannabis use and mental health problems," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(7), pages 1137-1156, November.
    12. Jan C. van Ours, 2006. "Dynamics in the use of drugs," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(12), pages 1283-1294.
    13. Jenny Williams & Christopher Skeels, 2006. "The Impact of Cannabis Use on Health," De Economist, Springer, vol. 154(4), pages 517-546, December.
    14. Jaap H. Abbring & Gerard J. van den Berg, 2003. "The Nonparametric Identification of Treatment Effects in Duration Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(5), pages 1491-1517, 09.
    15. Heckman, James & Singer, Burton, 1984. "A Method for Minimizing the Impact of Distributional Assumptions in Econometric Models for Duration Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 271-320, March.
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    Cited by:
    1. Maclean, Johanna Catherine, 2013. "The health effects of leaving school in a bad economy," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 951-964.
    2. van Ours, Jan C. & Williams, Jenny & Fergusson, David & Horwood, L. John, 2013. "Cannabis use and suicidal ideation," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 524-537.

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