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The relationship between marijuana initiation and dropping out of high school

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Author Info

  • Jeremy W. Bray

    (Research Triangle Institute, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA)

  • Gary A. Zarkin

    (Research Triangle Institute, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA)

  • Chris Ringwalt

    (Research Triangle Institute, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA)

  • Junfeng Qi

    (DFI|Aeronomics, Atlanta, GA 30337-5609, USA)

Abstract

The prevalence of marijuana use among young people has risen rapidly in recent years, causing concern over the potential impact on academic performance of such use. While recent studies have examined the effect of alcohol use on educational attainment, they have largely ignored the potential negative effects of other substances, such as marijuana. This paper examines whether the relationship between the initiation of marijuana use and the decision to drop out of high school varies with the age of dropout or with multiple substance use. Data are from a longitudinal survey of 1392 adolescents aged 16-18 years. The results suggest that marijuana initiation is positively related to dropping out of high school. Although the magnitude and significance of this relationship varies with age of dropout and with other substances used, it is concluded that the effect of marijuana initiation on the probability of subsequent high school dropout is relatively stable, with marijuana users' odds of dropping out being about 2.3 times that of non-users. Implications of these conclusions are considered for both policy makers and researchers. Copyright © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 9 (2000)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 9-18

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Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:9:y:2000:i:1:p:9-18

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Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/5749

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  1. Angrist, Joshua D & Krueger, Alan B, 1995. "Split-Sample Instrumental Variables Estimates of the Return to Schooling," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(2), pages 225-35, April.
  2. Zarkin, Gary A. & French, Michael T. & Mroz, Thomas & Bray, Jeremy W., 1998. "Alcohol use and wages: New results from the national household survey on drug abuse," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 53-68, January.
  3. Zarkin, Gary A. & Mroz, Thomas A. & Bray, Jeremy W. & French, Michael T., 1998. "The relationship between drug use and labor supply for young men," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 385-409, December.
  4. Cook, Philip J. & Moore, Michael J., 1993. "Drinking and schooling," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 411-429, December.
  5. Tetsuji Yamada & Michael Kendix & Tadashi Yamada, 1993. "The Impact of Alcohol Consumption and Marijuana Use on High School Graduation," NBER Working Papers 4497, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Thomas S. Dee & William N. Evans, 1997. "Teen Drinking and Education Attainment: Evidence From Two-Sample Instrumental Variables (TSIV) Estimates," NBER Working Papers 6082, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Robert Kaestner, 1994. "New estimates of the effect of marijuana and cocaine use on wages," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(3), pages 454-470, April.
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