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Measuring the Long-Term Effects of Public Policy: The Case of Narcotics Use and Property Crime

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Author Info

  • Keiko Powers

    (Neuropsychiatric Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, California, 90024)

  • Dominique M. Hanssens

    (Anderson Graduate School of Management, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90024)

  • Yih-Ing Hser

    (Neuropsychiatric Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, California, 90024)

  • M. Douglas Anglin

    (Neuropsychiatric Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, California, 90024)

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    Abstract

    The effects of treatment and legal supervision on narcotics use and criminal activities were assessed by applying newly developed time-series methods that disentangle the long-term (permanent) and the short-term (temporary) effects of intervention. A multivariate systems approach was used to characterize the dynamic interplay of several related behaviors at a group level over a long period of time. Five variables---abstinence from narcotics use, daily narcotics use (or addiction), property crime, methadone maintenance treatment, and legal supervision---were derived by aggregating information from over 600 narcotic addiction histories averaging 12 years in length. Because of the long assessment period, age was also included as a control variable. Overall, the system dynamics among the variables were characterized by long-term rather than short-term relationships. Neither methadone maintenance nor legal supervision had short-term effects on narcotics use or property crime. Methadone maintenance treatment demonstrated long-term benefits by reducing narcotics use and criminal activities. Legal supervision, on the other hand, did not reduce either narcotics use or property crime in the long run. Instead, there was a positive long-term relationship in which a higher level of legal supervision was related to higher levels of narcotics use and criminal activity. This latter finding is consistent with the observation that either narcotics use or criminal activity is likely to bring addicts to the attention of the legal system. However, these addicts, as a group, did not directly respond to legal supervision by changing their narcotics use or crime involvement except perhaps through coerced treatment. The paper explores the policy implications of these findings.

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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.37.6.627
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

    Volume (Year): 37 (1991)
    Issue (Month): 6 (June)
    Pages: 627-644

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    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:37:y:1991:i:6:p:627-644

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    Related research

    Keywords: public policy effectiveness; narcotics use; time series analysis; permanent and temporary effects; unit roots;

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    Cited by:
    1. Deleersnyder, B. & Dekimpe, M.G. & Steenkamp, J-B.E.M. & Leeflang, P.S.H., 2007. "The Role of National Culture in Advertising’s Sensitivity to Business Cycles: An Investigation Across All Continents," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2007-095-MKT, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus Uni.
    2. Dekimpe, M.G. & Hanssens, D.M., 2003. "Persistence Modeling for Assessing Marketing Strategy Performance," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2003-088-MKT, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus Uni.
    3. Srinivasan, S. & Pauwels, K.H. & Hanssens, D.M. & Dekimpe, M.G., 2002. "Do Promotions Benefit Manufacturers, Retailers or Both?," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2002-21-MKT, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus Uni.

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