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Opioids and the Labor Market

Author

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  • Aliprantis, Dionissi

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland)

  • Schweitzer, Mark E.

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland)

Abstract

This paper finds evidence that opioid availability decreases labor force participation while a large labor market shock does not influence the share of opioid abusers. We first identify the effect of availability on participation using the geographic variation in opioid prescription rates. We use a combination of the American Community Survey (ACS) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) county-level prescription data to examine labor market patterns across both rural and metropolitan areas of the United States from 2007 to 2016. Individuals in areas with higher prescription rates are less likely to participate after accounting for standard demographic factors and regional controls. This relationship remains significant for important demographic groups when increasingly strong panel data controls, including a full set of geographic fixed effects and measures of local labor market conditions in 2000, are introduced to the regressions. We also investigate the possibility of reverse causality, using the Great Recession as an instrument to identify the effect of weak labor demand on opioid abuse. The share abusing opioids did not increase after the onset of the Great Recession. The evidence on the frequency of abuse is more ambiguous since the identified increases could be the continuation of a pre-trend.

Suggested Citation

  • Aliprantis, Dionissi & Schweitzer, Mark E., 2018. "Opioids and the Labor Market," Working Papers (Old Series) 1807, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedcwp:1807
    DOI: 10.26509/frbc-wp-201807
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hollingsworth, Alex & Ruhm, Christopher J. & Simon, Kosali, 2017. "Macroeconomic conditions and opioid abuse," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 222-233.
    2. Marco Di Maggio & Amir Kermani, 2016. "The Importance of Unemployment Insurance as an Automatic Stabilizer," NBER Working Papers 22625, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Bhashkar Mazumder, 2005. "Fortunate Sons: New Estimates of Intergenerational Mobility in the United States Using Social Security Earnings Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 235-255, May.
    4. Deiana, Claudio & Giua, Ludovica, 2018. "The US Opidemic: Prescription Opioids, Labour Market Conditions and Crime," MPRA Paper 85712, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. 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.
    6. Timothy J. Bartik, 1991. "Who Benefits from State and Local Economic Development Policies?," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number wbsle, December.
    7. Guido W. Imbens, 2015. "Matching Methods in Practice: Three Examples," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 50(2), pages 373-419.
    8. William N. Evans & Ethan M. J. Lieber & Patrick Power, 2019. "How the Reformulation of OxyContin Ignited the Heroin Epidemic," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 101(1), pages 1-15, March.
    9. William Rogers, 1994. "Regression standard errors in clustered samples," Stata Technical Bulletin, StataCorp LP, vol. 3(13).
    10. Thomas C. Buchmueller & Colleen Carey, 2018. "The Effect of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs on Opioid Utilization in Medicare," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 77-112, February.
    11. repec:bin:bpeajo:v:48:y:2017:i:2017-02:p:1-87 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2015. "Recessions, healthy no more?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 17-28.
    13. Harris, Matthew & Kessler, Lawrence & Murray, Matthew & Glenn, Beth, 2017. "Prescription Opioids and Labor Market Pains: The Effect of Schedule II Opioids on Labor Force Participation and Unemployment," MPRA Paper 86586, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 28 Mar 2018.
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    Cited by:

    1. Manchester, Joyce & Sullivan, Riley, 2019. "Exploring causes of and responses to the opioid epidemic in New England," New England Public Policy Center Policy Reports 19-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    2. Francisco Perez-Arce & Maria J. Prados & Tarra Kohli, 2018. "The Decline in the U.S. Labor Force Participation Rate," Working Papers wp385, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    3. repec:eee:jhecon:v:64:y:2019:i:c:p:25-42 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Opioid Prescription Rate; Labor Force Participation; Great Recession; Opioid Abuse;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)

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