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West-East Convergence in the Prevalence of Illicit Drugs: Socioeconomics or Culture?

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  • Harald Tauchmann

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Abstract

In contrast to West-Germany, illicit drugs were virtually absent in East-Germany until 1990. Yet, after the collapse of the former GDR, East-Germany was expected to encounter a sharp increase in the prevalence of substance abuse.By analyzing individual data,we find that East-Germany largely caught up withWest-Germany’s ever-growing prevalence of illicit drugs within a single decade.We decompose the west-east 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 just 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 drug consumption.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen in its series Ruhr Economic Papers with number 0061.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rwi:repape:0061

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Keywords: Illicit drugs; west-east convergence; decomposition;

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  1. Saffer, Henry & Chaloupka, Frank, 1999. "The Demand for Illicit Drugs," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 37(3), pages 401-11, July.
  2. Thomas Bauer & Mathias Sinning, 2008. "An extension of the Blinder–Oaxaca decomposition to nonlinear models," AStA Advances in Statistical Analysis, Springer, vol. 92(2), pages 197-206, May.
  3. Jeff DeSimone & Matthew C. Farrelly, . "Price and Enforcement Effects on Cocaine and Marijuana Demand," Working Papers 0101, East Carolina University, Department of Economics.
  4. repec:wop:humbsf:1997-77 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Ben Jann, 2005. "Standard Errors for the Blinder-Oaxaca Decomposition," German Stata Users' Group Meetings 2005 03, Stata Users Group.
  6. M. Burda & C. Schmidt, 1997. "Getting Behind The East-West Wage Differential: Theory and Evidence," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1997,77, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  7. 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.
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