Does the economy affect teenage substance use?
This research examines how teenage drug and alcohol use responds to changes in the economy. In contrast to the recent literature confirming pro-cyclical alcohol use among adults, this research offers strong evidence that a weaker economy leads to greater teenage marijuana and hard-drug use and some evidence that a weaker economy also leads to higher teenage alcohol use. The findings are based on logistic models with state and year fixed effects, using teenagers from the NLSY-1997. The evidence also indicates that teenagers are more likely to sell drugs in weaker economies. This suggests one mechanism for counter-cyclical drug use - that access to illicit drugs is easier when the economy is weaker. These results also suggest that the strengthening economy in the 1990s mitigated what would otherwise have been much larger increases in teenage drug use. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Volume (Year): 16 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
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References listed on IDEAS
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- Thomas S. Dee, 2001. "Alcohol abuse and economic conditions: Evidence from repeated cross-sections of individual-level data," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(3), pages 257-270.
- Steven D. Levitt & Lance Lochner, 2001. "The Determinants of Juvenile Crime," NBER Chapters, in: Risky Behavior among Youths: An Economic Analysis, pages 327-374 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ruhm, Christopher J., 1995.
"Economic conditions and alcohol problems,"
Journal of Health Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 14(5), pages 583-603, December.
- Alejandro Gaviria & Steven Raphael, 2001. "School-Based Peer Effects And Juvenile Behavior," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(2), pages 257-268, May.
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