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The effects of cannabis use on physical and mental health

  • van Ours, Jan C.
  • Williams, Jenny

This paper investigates whether cannabis use affects physical and mental health. To do so, information on prime aged individuals living in Amsterdam in 1994 is used. Dutch data offer a clear advantage in estimating the health impacts of cannabis use because the legal status of cannabis in the Netherlands ensures that estimates are free from confounding with the physical and psychological effects of engaging in a criminal activity. Accounting for selection into cannabis use and shared frailties in mental and physical health, the results suggest that cannabis use reduces the mental wellbeing of men and women and the physical wellbeing of men. Although statistically significant, the magnitude of the effect of using cannabis on mental and physical health is found to be small.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167629612000513
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 31 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 564-577

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:31:y:2012:i:4:p:564-577
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

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  1. van Ours, Jan C & Williams, Jenny, 2011. "The Effects of Cannabis Use on Physical and Mental Health," CEPR Discussion Papers 8499, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Jaap H. Abbring & Gerard J. van den Berg, 2003. "The Nonparametric Identification of Treatment Effects in Duration Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(5), pages 1491-1517, 09.
  3. Jan C. van Ours & Jenny Williams, 2011. "Cannabis use and mental health problems," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(7), pages 1137-1156, November.
  4. van Ours, J.C., 2005. "Cannabis, Cocaine and Jobs," Discussion Paper 2005-15, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  5. David M. Cutler, 1993. "The Incidence of Adverse Medical Outcomes Under Prospective Payments," NBER Working Papers 4300, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Jan C. van Ours & Jenny Williams, 2007. "Why Parents Worry: Initiation into Cannabis Use by Youth and their Educational Attainment," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1013, The University of Melbourne.
  7. Jeremy W. Bray, 2005. "Alcohol Use, Human Capital, and Wages," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(2), pages 279-312, April.
  8. Jan C. van Ours, 2007. "The Effects of Cannabis Use on Wages of Prime-age Males," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 69(5), pages 619-634, October.
  9. van Ours, J.C., 2005. "Dynamics in the Use of Drugs," Discussion Paper 2005-21, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  10. Zhou Yang & Donna B. Gilleskie & Edward C. Norton, 2009. "Health Insurance, Medical Care, and Health Outcomes: A Model of Elderly Health Dynamics," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(1).
  11. Stephen Pudney, 2010. "Drugs policy: what should we do about cannabis?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 25, pages 165-211, 01.
  12. van Ours, Jan C & Williams, Jenny, 2005. "Cannabis Prices and Dynamics of Cannabis Use," CEPR Discussion Papers 4991, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Jenny Williams & Christopher L. Skeels, 2006. "The impact of cannabis and cigarette use on health," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 969, The University of Melbourne.
  14. Orphanides, Athanasios & Zervos, David, 1995. "Rational Addiction with Learning and Regret," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 739-58, August.
  15. Mroz, Thomas A., 1999. "Discrete factor approximations in simultaneous equation models: Estimating the impact of a dummy endogenous variable on a continuous outcome," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 233-274, October.
  16. Heckman, James & Singer, Burton, 1984. "A Method for Minimizing the Impact of Distributional Assumptions in Econometric Models for Duration Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 271-320, March.
  17. Jenny Williams & Christopher Skeels, 2006. "The Impact of Cannabis Use on Health," De Economist, Springer, vol. 154(4), pages 517-546, December.
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