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

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  • Tauchmann, Harald

Abstract

In contrast to West-Germany, illicit drugs were virtually absent in the 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 with West-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 Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Economics Discussion Papers with number 2008-8.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwedp:7129

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

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  1. 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.
  2. Henry Saffer & Frank Chaloupka, 1995. "The Demand for Illicit Drugs," NBER Working Papers 5238, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. repec:wop:humbsf:1997-77 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Jeff DeSimone & Matthew C. Farrelly, . "Price and Enforcement Effects on Cocaine and Marijuana Demand," Working Papers 0101, East Carolina University, Department of Economics.
  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. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
  8. 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.
  9. Ben Jann, 2005. "Standard Errors for the Blinder-Oaxaca Decomposition," German Stata Users' Group Meetings 2005 03, Stata Users Group.
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