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Illicit drug use and labour market achievement: evidence from the UK

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  • Ziggy MacDonald
  • Stephen Pudney

Abstract

This study, using data from the British Crime Survey (BCS), examines the effect of drug use on occupational achievement. It starts by attempting to overcome the identification problem that results from the limited set of drug use questions presented in the BCS. Taking this into account, and allowing for the endogeneity of drug use in equations for unemployment and labour market outcomes, that a mild positive association with 'soft' drugs and occupational achievement is observed that diminishes with age. This relationship holds for males but not for females. In contrast, it is also found that past use of 'hard' drugs significantly increases the likelihood of current unemployment, although it appears to be unrelated to occupational success, conditional on achieving employment.

Suggested Citation

  • Ziggy MacDonald & Stephen Pudney, 2001. "Illicit drug use and labour market achievement: evidence from the UK," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(13), pages 1655-1668.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:33:y:2001:i:13:p:1655-1668
    DOI: 10.1080/00036840010014454
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Robert Kaestner, 1994. "The Effect of Illicit Drug Use on the Labor Supply of Young Adults," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(1), pages 126-155.
    2. Andrew M. Gill & Robert J. Michaels, 1991. "The Determinants Of Illegal Drug Use," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 9(3), pages 93-105, July.
    3. Andrew M. Gill & Robert J. Michaels, 1992. "Does Drug Use Lower Wages?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 45(3), pages 419-434, April.
    4. Charles A. Register & Donald R. Williams, 1992. "Labor Market Effects of Marijuana and Cocaine Use among Young Men," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 45(3), pages 435-448, April.
    5. Ziggy MacDonald, "undated". "The Demand for Illicit Drugs in the UK: Survey Evidence," Discussion Papers in Public Sector Economics 97/5, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
    6. Sickles, Robin & Taubman, Paul, 1991. "Who Uses Illegal Drugs?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 248-251, May.
    7. 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.
    8. Kaestner, Robert, 1991. "The Effect of Illicit Drug Use on the Wages of Young Adults," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(4), pages 381-412, October.
    9. Simon M. Burgess & Carol Propper, 1998. "Early health-related behaviours and their impact on later life chances: evidence from the US," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 7(5), pages 381-399.
    10. Ziggy MacDonald, "undated". "The Demand for Illicit Drugs in the UK: Survey Evidence," Discussion Papers in Economics 97/5, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
    11. A. J. Culyer, 1973. "I. Should Social Policy Concern Itself with Drug "Abuse"?," Public Finance Review, , vol. 1(4), pages 449-456, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. van Ours, J.C., 2005. "Cannabis, Cocaine and the Wages of Prime Age Males," Discussion Paper 2005-14, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    2. Jan C. van Ours, 2006. "Cannabis, cocaine and jobs," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(7), pages 897-917.
    3. Carlos Casacuberta & Mariana Gerstenblüth & Patricia Triunfo, 2012. "Aportes del análisis económico al estudio de las drogas," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 0112, Department of Economics - dECON.
    4. 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.
    5. Jenny Williams & Christopher Skeels, 2006. "The Impact of Cannabis Use on Health," De Economist, Springer, vol. 154(4), pages 517-546, December.
    6. Pudney, Stephen & Bryan, Mark & DelBono, Emilia, 2013. "Licensing and regulation of the cannabis market in England and Wales: Towards a cost-benefit analysis," MPRA Paper 50365, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Ziggy MacDonald & Michael Shields, "undated". "The Impact of Alcohol Use on Occupational Attainment and Wages," Discussion Papers in Public Sector Economics 98/8, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.

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