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

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  • Tauchmann, Harald

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Tauchmann, Harald, 2008. "West-East Convergence in the Prevalence of Cannabis Use: Socioeconomics or Culture?," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 2, pages 1-27.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifweej:7396
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.5018/economics-ejournal.ja.2008-29
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    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/27513/1/economics_2008-29.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Saffer, Henry & Chaloupka, Frank, 1999. "The Demand for Illicit Drugs," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 37(3), pages 401-411, July.
    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. van Ours, Jan C. & Williams, Jenny, 2007. "Cannabis prices and dynamics of cannabis use," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 578-596, May.
    4. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
    5. Ben Jann, 2005. "Standard Errors for the Blinder-Oaxaca Decomposition," German Stata Users' Group Meetings 2005 03, Stata Users Group.
    6. Cameron,A. Colin & Trivedi,Pravin K., 2008. "Microeconometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9787111235767, April.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Silja Göhlmann & Christoph M. Schmidt & Harald Tauchmann, 2010. "Smoking initiation in Germany: the role of intergenerational transmission," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(2), pages 227-242.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cannabis consumption; west-east convergence; decompos;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • P36 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Consumer Economics; Health; Education and Training; Welfare, Income, Wealth, and Poverty
    • P23 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Factor and Product Markets; Industry Studies; Population

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