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Does the economy affect teenage substance use?

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  • Jeremy Arkes

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeremy Arkes, 2007. "Does the economy affect teenage substance use?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(1), pages 19-36, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:16:y:2007:i:1:p:19-36
    DOI: 10.1002/hec.1132
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.1002/hec.1132
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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, April.
    2. 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.
    3. Ruhm, Christopher J., 1995. "Economic conditions and alcohol problems," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(5), pages 583-603, December.
    4. 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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    Cited by:

    1. Kalousova, Lucie & Burgard, Sarah A., 2014. "Unemployment, measured and perceived decline of economic resources: Contrasting three measures of recessionary hardships and their implications for adopting negative health behaviors," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 28-34.
    2. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2018. "Deaths of Despair or Drug Problems?," NBER Working Papers 24188, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2016. "Health Effects of Economic Crises," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(S2), pages 6-24, November.
    4. Brady P. Horn & Johanna Catherine Maclean & Michael R. Strain, 2017. "Do Minimum Wage Increases Influence Worker Health?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(4), pages 1986-2007, October.
    5. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2015. "Recessions, healthy no more?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 17-28.
    6. Arkes, Jeremy, 2009. "How the economy affects teenage weight," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(11), pages 1943-1947, June.
    7. 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.
    8. Mikael Svensson & Curt Hagquist, 2010. "Adolescents alcohol-use and economic conditions: a multilevel analysis of data from a period with big economic changes," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 11(6), pages 533-541, December.
    9. Garth Heutel & Christopher J. Ruhm, 2016. "Air Pollution and Procyclical Mortality," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(3), pages 667-706.
    10. 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.
    11. De-Chih Liu, 2017. "The Discouraged Worker and Suicide in the United States," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 134(2), pages 771-787, November.
    12. Costa Storti, Cláudia & Grauwe, Paul & Sabadash, Anna & Montanari, Linda, 2011. "Unemployment and drug treatment," MPRA Paper 61799, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Hollingsworth, Alex & Ruhm, Christopher J. & Simon, Kosali, 2017. "Macroeconomic conditions and opioid abuse," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 222-233.
    14. Sabrina Wulff Pabilonia, 2017. "Teenagers’ risky health behaviors and time use during the great recession," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 945-964, September.
    15. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2019. "Drivers of the fatal drug epidemic," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 25-42.
    16. Chad Cotti & David Simon, 2018. "The Impact Of Stock Market Fluctuations On The Mental And Physical Well‐Being Of Children," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 56(2), pages 1007-1027, April.
    17. Sara Ayllón, 2019. "Job insecurity and fertility in Europe," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 1321-1347, December.
    18. Tobler, Amy L. & Komro, Kelli A., 2011. "Contemporary options for longitudinal follow-up: Lessons learned from a cohort of urban adolescents," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 87-96, May.
    19. Ioana Popovici & Michael T. French, 2013. "Does Unemployment Lead to Greater Alcohol Consumption?," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 444-466, April.
    20. María E. Dávalos & Hai Fang & Michael T. French, 2012. "Easing The Pain Of An Economic Downturn: Macroeconomic Conditions And Excessive Alcohol Consumption," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(11), pages 1318-1335, November.
    21. Carpenter, Christopher S. & McClellan, Chandler B. & Rees, Daniel I., 2017. "Economic conditions, illicit drug use, and substance use disorders in the United States," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 63-73.
    22. Johanna Catherine Maclean & Jonathan H. Cantor & Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, 2015. "Economic downturns and substance abuse treatment: Evidence from admissions data," DETU Working Papers 1504, Department of Economics, Temple University.
    23. Daniel Avdic & Sonja C. de New & Daniel A. Kamhöfer, 2020. "Economic Downturns and Mental Wellbeing," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 1081, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    24. Omer Hoke & Chad Cotti, 2016. "Minimum wages and youth binge drinking," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 51(1), pages 363-381, August.
    25. 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.

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