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West-East Convergence in the Prevalence of Cannabis Use: Socioeconomics or Culture?

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  • Tauchmann, Harald

Abstract

In contrast to West Germany, illicit drugs were virtually absent in East Germany until 1990. However, after the collapse of the former GDR, East Germany was expected to encounter a sharp increase in substance abuse. By analyzing individual data, we find that East Germany largely caught up with West Germany's ever-growing prevalence of cannabis use within a single decade. We decompose the westeast difference in prevalence rates into an explained and an unexplained part using a modified Blinder-Oaxaca procedure. This decomposition suggests that the observed convergence is only weakly related to socioeconomic characteristics and therefore remains mainly unexplained. That is, West and East Germans seem to have become more alike per se. We conclude that both parts of the country have converged in terms of the culture of cannabis consumption. --

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.5018/economics-ejournal.ja.2008-29
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its journal Economics: The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal.

Volume (Year): 2 (2008)
Issue (Month): 29 ()
Pages: 1-27

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Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifweej:7396

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Keywords: Cannabis consumption; west-east convergence; decompos;

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References

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  1. Thomas Bauer & Mathias Sinning, 2006. "An Extension of the Blinder-Oaxaca Decomposition to Non-Linear Models," RWI Discussion Papers 0049, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung.
  2. Saffer, Henry & Chaloupka, Frank, 1999. "The Demand for Illicit Drugs," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 37(3), pages 401-11, July.
  3. 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.
  4. Ben Jann, 2005. "Standard Errors for the Blinder-Oaxaca Decomposition," German Stata Users' Group Meetings 2005 03, Stata Users Group.
  5. Stephen Pudney, 2004. "Keeping off the grass? An econometric model of cannabis consumption in Britain," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(4), pages 435-453.
  6. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Silja Göhlmann & Christoph M. Schmidt & Harald Tauchmann, 2010. "Smoking initiation in Germany: the role of intergenerational transmission," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(2), pages 227-242.

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