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Do Stimulant Medications Improve Educational and Behavioral Outcomes for Children with ADHD?

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  • Janet Currie
  • Mark Stabile
  • Lauren E. Jones

Abstract

We examine the effects of a policy change in the province of Quebec, Canada which greatly expanded insurance coverage for prescription medications. We show that the change was associated with a sharp increase in the use of stimulant medications commonly prescribed for ADHD in Quebec relative to the rest of Canada. We ask whether this increase in medication use was associated with improvements in emotional functioning or academic outcomes among children with ADHD. We find little evidence of improvement in either the medium or the long run. Our results are silent on the effects on optimal use of medication for ADHD, but suggest that expanding medication in a community setting had little positive benefit and may have had harmful effects given the average way these drugs are used in the community.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19105.

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Date of creation: Jun 2013
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19105

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  1. Michael Baker & Jonathan Gruber & Kevin Milligan, 2006. "Universal Childcare, Maternal Labor Supply, and Family Well-Being," Working Papers id:547, eSocialSciences.
  2. Janet Currie & Mark Stabile, 2004. "Child Mental Health and Human Capital Accumulation: The Case of ADHD," NBER Working Papers 10435, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Jason Fletcher & Barbara L. Wolfe, 2007. "Child Mental Health and Human Capital Accumulation: The Case of ADHD Revisited," NBER Working Papers 13474, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Susan Griffin & Helen Weatherly & Gerry Richardson & Mike Drummond, 2008. "Methodological issues in undertaking independent cost-effectiveness analysis for NICE: the case of therapies for ADHD," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 137-145, May.
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