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Effects of the great recession on drugs consumption in Spain

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  • Martin Bassols, Nicolau
  • Vall Castelló, Judit

Abstract

This paper presents evidence on how the consumption of legal and illegal drugs has changed in response to the Great Recession in Spain. We use a large scale survey from 2005 to 2011 to analyze the association between changes in local economic conditions and drug consumption among individuals aged 15–64. Although Spain was one of the countries hardest hit by the economic downturn, the crisis was unevenly felt across the country. Therefore, we exploit this difference in unemployment rates across provinces to identify the effects of business cycle variations on the consumption of legal and illegal drugs. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to find a relation between the deterioration of local economic conditions and a strong increase in the consumption of marihuana and cocaine. We also report a decrease in alcohol consumption but a significant escalation in abusive smoking behavior (smoking every day). We believe that these findings are important not only for the potential negative implications at the individual level but also for the costs to society as a whole.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Bassols, Nicolau & Vall Castelló, Judit, 2016. "Effects of the great recession on drugs consumption in Spain," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 103-116.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:22:y:2016:i:c:p:103-116
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ehb.2016.03.005
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    3. Balbo, Nicoletta & Carapella, Piergiorgio & Toffolutti, Veronica, 2020. "Trends in the use of mind-altering drugs among European adolescents during the Great Recession," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 124(5), pages 568-574.
    4. Baten, Joerg, 2017. "Economics, human biology and inequality: A review of “puzzles” and recent contributions from a Deatonian perspective," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 3-8.
    5. Juan M. Martín Álvarez & Alejandro Almeida & Aida Galiano & Antonio A. Golpe, 2020. "Asymmetric behavior of tobacco consumption in Spain across the business cycle: a long-term regional analysis," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 20(4), pages 391-421, December.
    6. Chenggang Wang & Huixia Wang & Timothy J. Halliday, 2017. "Health and Health Inequality during the Great Recession: Evidence from the PSID," Working Papers 201703, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    7. Ayllón, Sara & Ferreira-Batista, Natalia N., 2018. "Unemployment, drugs and attitudes among European youth," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 236-248.
    8. Kaiser, Micha & Reutter, Mirjam & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso & Strohmaier, Kristina, 2018. "Smoking and local unemployment: Evidence from Germany," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 138-147.
    9. Huixia Wang & Chenggang Wang & Timothy Halliday, 2016. "Money and Credit: Health and Health Inequality during the Great Recession: Evidence from the PSID," Working Papers 201615, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    10. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2019. "Drivers of the fatal drug epidemic," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 25-42.
    11. Kristín Helga Birgisdóttir & Tinna Laufey Ásgeirsdóttir, 2017. "Macroeconomic conditions and population health in Iceland," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 37(25), pages 769-852.
    12. Mario Martínez-Jiménez & Judit Vall Castelló, 2020. "Effects of macroeconomic fluctuations on mental health and psychotropic medicine consumption," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 277-297, September.
    13. Bertoli, Paola & Grembi, Veronica & Vall Castellò, Judit, 2018. "Not all silver lining? The Great Recession and road traffic accidents," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 274-288.
    14. David Flores-Ruiz & Adolfo Elizondo-Salto & María de la O. Barroso-González, 2021. "Using Social Media in Tourist Sentiment Analysis: A Case Study of Andalusia during the Covid-19 Pandemic," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 13(7), pages 1-19, March.

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