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Pain

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  • Filip Palda

    (Ecole nationale d'administration publique in Montreal)

Abstract

Painkilling drugs produce a good called relief which reduces the fixed level of bad (pain) the individual is endowed with. These drugs have the side-effect of reducing the utility the individual gets from consuming goods. This means that the shadow price of relief counts not only the cost of drugs and their ability to reduce pain, but also the undesired reduction in pleasure from consuming goods. The tradeoff between goods and relief is non-linear and convex even for painkilling drugs that have a linear effect on pain. Small increases in pain may push the individual to a corner where painkilling drugs dominate his life. This seeming dependence on the drug has nothing to do with addiction or habit formation, but is a consequence of how consumption of these drugs changes the shadow prices of goods and relief.

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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/mic/papers/0111/0111003.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Microeconomics with number 0111003.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: 14 Nov 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpmi:0111003

Note: Type of Document - PDF; prepared on IBM PC; to print on HP/PostScript; pages: 19; figures: included. PDF document can be viewed or printed
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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

Related research

Keywords: Pain; addiction; drugs; household production;

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References

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  1. Boyer, Marcel, 1983. "Rational demand and expenditures patterns under habit formation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 27-53, October.
  2. Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, 1976. "Child Endowments, and the Quantity and Quality of Children," NBER Working Papers 0123, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. French, Michael T. & Zarkin, Gary A., 1995. "Is moderate alcohol use related to wages? Evidence from four worksites," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 319-344, August.
  4. Stigler, George J & Becker, Gary S, 1977. "De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 76-90, March.
  5. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1988. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 675-700, August.
  6. 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.
  7. Suranovic, Steven M. & Goldfarb, Robert S. & Leonard, Thomas C., 1999. "An economic theory of cigarette addiction," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 1-29, January.
  8. 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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