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Macroeconomic conditions and opioid abuse

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  • Hollingsworth, Alex
  • Ruhm, Christopher J.
  • Simon, Kosali

Abstract

We examine how deaths and emergency department (ED) visits related to use of opioid analgesics (opioids) and other drugs vary with macroeconomic conditions. As the county unemployment rate increases by one percentage point, the opioid death rate per 100,000 rises by 0.19 (3.6%) and the opioid overdose ED visit rate per 100,000 increases by 0.95 (7.0%). Macroeconomic shocks also increase the overall drug death rate, but this increase is driven by rising opioid deaths. Our findings hold when performing a state-level analysis, rather than county-level; are primarily driven by adverse events among whites; and are stable across time periods.

Suggested Citation

  • Hollingsworth, Alex & Ruhm, Christopher J. & Simon, Kosali, 2017. "Macroeconomic conditions and opioid abuse," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 222-233.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:56:y:2017:i:c:p:222-233
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2017.07.009
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    Cited by:

    1. van den Berg, Gerard J. & Gerdtham, Ulf-G. & von Hinke, Stephanie & Lindeboom, Maarten & Lissdaniels, Johannes & Sundquist, Jan & Sundquist, Kristina, 2017. "Mortality and the business cycle: Evidence from individual and aggregated data," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 61-70.
    2. Johanna Catherine Maclean & Sebastian Tello-Trillo & Douglas Webber, 2019. "Losing Insurance and Behavioral Health Hospitalizations: Evidence from a Large-scale Medicaid Disenrollment," NBER Working Papers 25936, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Harris, Matthew & Kessler, Lawrence & Murray, Matthew & Glenn, Beth, 2017. "Prescription Opioids and Labor Market Pains: The Effect of Schedule II Opioids on Labor Force Participation and Unemployment," MPRA Paper 86586, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 28 Mar 2018.
    4. Dionissi Aliprantis & Mark E. Schweitzer, 2018. "Opioids and the Labor Market," Working Papers (Old Series) 1807, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, revised 15 May 2018.
    5. repec:eee:jhecon:v:64:y:2019:i:c:p:25-42 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:eee:jhecon:v:60:y:2018:i:c:p:177-197 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:eee:inecon:v:119:y:2019:i:c:p:181-207 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Macroeconomic conditions; Unemployment; Opioids;

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development

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