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Demand for Illicit Drugs by Pregnant Women

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  • Hope Corman
  • Kelly Noonan
  • Nancy E. Reichman
  • Dhaval Dave

Abstract

We use survey data that have been linked to medical records data and city-level drug prices to estimate the demand for illicit drugs among pregnant women. The prevalence of prenatal drug use based on post partum interviews was much lower than that based on evidence in the mothers' and babies' medical records. We found that a $10 increase in the retail price of a gram of pure cocaine decreases illicit drug use by 12 to 15%. The estimated price effects for heroin are lower than for cocaine and are less robust across alternative model specifications. This study provides the first estimates of the effects of drug prices on prenatal drug use and yields important information about the potential of drug enforcement as a tool for improving birth outcomes.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10688.

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Date of creation: Aug 2004
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Publication status: published as Lindgren, Bjorn and Michael Grossman (eds.) Advances in Health Economics, and Health Services Research 16, Economics of Substance Abuse. JAI Press, 2005.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10688

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  1. Robert Kaestner & Theodore Joyce & Hassan Wehbeh, 1996. "The Effect of Maternal Drug Use on Birth Weight: Measurement Error in Binary Variables," NBER Working Papers 5434, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. H Saffer & FJ Chaloupka & D Dave, 2001. "State Drug Control Spending And Illicit Drug Participation," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 19(2), pages 150-161, 04.
  3. Hope Corman & Theodore J. Joyce & Michael Grossman, 1985. "Birth Outcome Production Functions in the U.S," NBER Working Papers 1729, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Grossman, Michael & Chaloupka, Frank J., 1998. "The demand for cocaine by young adults: a rational addiction approach," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 427-474, August.
  5. Suren Basov & Mireille Jacobson & Jeffrey A. Miron, 2001. "Prohibition and the Market for Illegal Drugs," World Economics, World Economics, Economic & Financial Publishing, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 2(4), pages 133-157, October.
  6. Evans, William N. & Ringel, Jeanne S., 1999. "Can higher cigarette taxes improve birth outcomes?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 135-154, April.
  7. Greg Coleman & Michael Grossman & Ted Joyce, 2002. "The Effect of Cigarette Excise Taxes on Smoking Before, During and After Pregnancy," NBER Working Papers 9245, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Henry Saffer & Frank Chaloupka, 1995. "The Demand for Illicit Drugs," NBER Working Papers 5238, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Hope Corman & Theodore J. Joyce & Michael Grossman, 1987. "Birth Outcome Production Function in the United States," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 22(3), pages 339-360.
  10. Ilyana Kuziemko & Steven D. Levitt, 2001. "An Empirical Analysis of Imprisoning Drug Offenders," NBER Working Papers 8489, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Friedrich Schneider, 2001. "What Do We Know About the Shadow Economy?," World Economics, World Economics, Economic & Financial Publishing, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 2(4), pages 19-32, October.
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