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Opioids and the Labor Market

Author

Listed:
  • Aliprantis, Dionissi

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland)

  • Fee, Kyle

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland)

  • Schweitzer, Mark E.

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland)

Abstract

This paper studies the relationship between local opioid prescription rates and labor market outcomes. We improve the joint measurement of labor market outcomes and prescription rates in the rural areas where nearly 30 percent of the US population lives. We find that increasing the local prescription rate by 10 percent decreases the prime-age employment rate by 0.50 percentage points for men and 0.17 percentage points for women. This effect is larger for white men with less than a BA (0.70 percentage points) and largest for minority men with less than a BA (1.01 percentage points). Geography is an obstacle to giving a causal interpretation to these results, especially since they were estimated in the midst of a large recession and recovery that generated considerable cross-sectional variation in local economic performance. We show that our results are not sensitive to most approaches to controlling for places experiencing either contemporaneous labor market shocks or persistently weak labor market conditions. We also present evidence on reverse causality, finding that a short-term unemployment shock did not increase the share of people abusing prescription opioids. Our estimates imply that prescription opioids can account for 44 percent of the realized national decrease in men's labor force participation between 2001 and 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Aliprantis, Dionissi & Fee, Kyle & Schweitzer, Mark E., 2019. "Opioids and the Labor Market," Working Papers 180701, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedcwq:180701
    DOI: 10.26509/frbc-wp-201807r
    Note: Revision of Working Paper 1807, first published in May 2018.
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    File URL: https://doi.org/10.26509/frbc-wp-201807r
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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, july-dece.
    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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