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The Downward Spiral

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Abstract

There have been more than 500,000 opioid overdose deaths since 2000. To analyze the opioid epidemic, a model is constructed where individuals, with and without pain, choose whether to abuse opioids knowing the probabilities of addiction and dying. These odds are functions of opioid use. Markov chains are estimated from the US data for the college and non-college educated that summarize the transitions into and out of opioid addiction as well as to a deadly overdose. A structural model is constructed that matches the estimated Markov chains. The epidemic's drivers, and the impact of medical interventions, are examined.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner & Karen A. Kopecky, 2022. "The Downward Spiral," Economie d'Avant Garde Research Reports 34, Economie d'Avant Garde.
  • Handle: RePEc:eag:rereps:34
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    Keywords

    addiction; college/non-college educated; deaths; fentanyl; Markov chain; medical interventions; opioids; OxyContin; pain; prices; structural model;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • E13 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Neoclassical
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • J17 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Value of Life; Foregone Income

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