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The Effects of Cannabis Use on Physical and Mental Health

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  • van Ours, Jan C
  • Williams, Jenny

Abstract

This paper investigates whether cannabis use affects physical and mental health. To do so, information on prime aged individuals living in Amsterdam in 1994 is used. Dutch data offer a clear advantage in estimating the health impacts of cannabis use because the legal status of cannabis in the Netherlands ensures that estimates are free from confounding with the physical and psychological effects of engaging in a criminal activity. Accounting for selection into cannabis use and shared frailties in mental and physical health, the results suggest that cannabis use reduces the mental wellbeing of men and women and the physical wellbeing of men. Although statistically significant, the magnitude of the effect of using cannabis on mental and physical health is found to be small.

Suggested Citation

  • van Ours, Jan C & Williams, Jenny, 2011. "The Effects of Cannabis Use on Physical and Mental Health," CEPR Discussion Papers 8499, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8499
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mroz, Thomas A., 1999. "Discrete factor approximations in simultaneous equation models: Estimating the impact of a dummy endogenous variable on a continuous outcome," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 233-274, October.
    2. Jan C. van Ours & Jenny Williams, 2011. "Cannabis use and mental health problems," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(7), pages 1137-1156, November.
    3. Heckman, James & Singer, Burton, 1984. "A Method for Minimizing the Impact of Distributional Assumptions in Econometric Models for Duration Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 271-320, March.
    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. Jeremy W. Bray, 2005. "Alcohol Use, Human Capital, and Wages," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(2), pages 279-312, April.
    6. Jan C. van Ours, 2007. "The Effects of Cannabis Use on Wages of Prime-age Males," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 69(5), pages 619-634, October.
    7. van Ours, Jan C. & Williams, Jenny, 2012. "The effects of cannabis use on physical and mental health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 564-577.
    8. 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.
    9. Stephen Pudney, 2010. "Drugs policy: what should we do about cannabis?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 25, pages 165-211, January.
    10. Cutler, David M, 1995. "The Incidence of Adverse Medical Outcomes under Prospective Payment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(1), pages 29-50, January.
    11. Jan C. van Ours, 2006. "Cannabis, cocaine and jobs," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(7), pages 897-917.
    12. Jenny Williams & Christopher Skeels, 2006. "The Impact of Cannabis Use on Health," De Economist, Springer, vol. 154(4), pages 517-546, December.
    13. van Ours, Jan C. & Williams, Jenny, 2009. "Why parents worry: Initiation into cannabis use by youth and their educational attainment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 132-142, January.
    14. Jan C. van Ours, 2006. "Dynamics in the use of drugs," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(12), pages 1283-1294.
    15. Orphanides, Athanasios & Zervos, David, 1995. "Rational Addiction with Learning and Regret," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 739-758, August.
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    17. Zhou Yang & Donna B. Gilleskie & Edward C. Norton, 2009. "Health Insurance, Medical Care, and Health Outcomes: A Model of Elderly Health Dynamics," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(1).
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. van Ours, J.C., 2011. "The Long and Winding Road to Cannabis Legalization," Discussion Paper 2011-126, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    2. van Ours, Jan C. & Williams, Jenny, 2012. "The effects of cannabis use on physical and mental health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 564-577.
    3. repec:spr:empeco:v:53:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s00181-016-1172-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. van Ours, Jan C. & Williams, Jenny & Fergusson, David & Horwood, L. John, 2013. "Cannabis use and suicidal ideation," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 524-537.
    5. Maclean, Johanna Catherine, 2013. "The health effects of leaving school in a bad economy," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 951-964.
    6. Sabia, Joseph J. & Nguyen, Thanh Tam, 2016. "The Effect of Medical Marijuana Laws on Labor Market Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 9831, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Silvia Balia & Rinaldo Brau, 2014. "A Country For Old Men? Longā€Term Home Care Utilization In Europe," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(10), pages 1185-1212, October.
    8. Anna Choi & Dhaval Dave & Joseph J. Sabia, 2016. "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: Medical Marijuana Laws and Tobacco Use," NBER Working Papers 22554, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Brinkman, Jeffrey & Mok-Lamme, David, 2017. "Not in My Backyard? Not So Fast. The Effect of Marijuana Legalization on Neighborhood Crime," Working Papers 17-19, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cannabis use; Duration models; Mental health; Physical health;

    JEL classification:

    • C41 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Duration Analysis; Optimal Timing Strategies
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • I19 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Other

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