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West-East Convergence in the Prevalence of Cannabis Use: Socioeconomics or Culture?

  • Tauchmann, Harald

In contrast to West Germany, illicit drugs were virtually absent in East Germany until 1990. However, after the collapse of the former GDR, East Germany was expected to encounter a sharp increase in substance abuse. By analyzing individual data, we find that East Germany largely caught up with West Germany's ever-growing prevalence of cannabis use within a single decade. We decompose the westeast difference in prevalence rates into an explained and an unexplained part using a modified Blinder-Oaxaca procedure. This decomposition suggests that the observed convergence is only weakly related to socioeconomic characteristics and therefore remains mainly unexplained. That is, West and East Germans seem to have become more alike per se. We conclude that both parts of the country have converged in terms of the culture of cannabis consumption.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.5018/economics-ejournal.ja.2008-29
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File URL: http://econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/27513/1/economics_2008-29.pdf
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Article provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its journal Economics: The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal.

Volume (Year): 2 (2008)
Issue (Month): ()
Pages: 1-27

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Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifweej:7396
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  1. Ben Jann, 2005. "Standard Errors for the Blinder-Oaxaca Decomposition," German Stata Users' Group Meetings 2005 03, Stata Users Group.
  2. Stephen Pudney, 2004. "Keeping off the grass? An econometric model of cannabis consumption in Britain," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(4), pages 435-453.
  3. repec:rwi:dpaper:0049 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. van Ours, Jan C & Williams, Jenny, 2005. "Cannabis Prices and Dynamics of Cannabis Use," CEPR Discussion Papers 4991, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Ronald Oaxaca, 1971. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," Working Papers 396, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  6. Saffer, Henry & Chaloupka, Frank, 1999. "The Demand for Illicit Drugs," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 37(3), pages 401-11, July.
  7. Thomas Bauer & Mathias Sinning, 2008. "An extension of the Blinder–Oaxaca decomposition to nonlinear models," AStA Advances in Statistical Analysis, Springer, vol. 92(2), pages 197-206, May.
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