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Going after the Addiction, Not the Addicted: The Impact of Drug Decriminalization in Portugal

Listed author(s):
  • Félix, Sónia

    ()

    (Banco de Portugal)

  • Portugal, Pedro

    ()

    (Banco de Portugal)

  • Tavares, Ana

    ()

    (Universidade Nova de Lisboa)

This paper investigates the impact of drug decriminalization in Portugal using the Synthetic Control Method. The applied econometric methodology compares Portuguese drug-related variables with the ones extracted from a convex combination of similar European countries. The results suggest that a policy change implemented in Portugal contributed to a decrease in the number of heroine and cocaine seizures, a decrease in the number of offenses and drug-related deaths, and a decrease in the number of clients entering treatment. Moreover, the policy change contributed to a reduction in the incidence of drug addicts among HIV individuals.

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File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp10895.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 10895.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2017
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10895
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  1. Jan Ours & Stephen Pudney, 2006. "On the Economics of Illicit Drugs," De Economist, Springer, vol. 154(4), pages 483-490, December.
  2. Alberto Abadie & Javier Gardeazabal, 2003. "The Economic Costs of Conflict: A Case Study of the Basque Country," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 113-132, March.
  3. Becker, Gary S & Murphy, Kevin M, 1988. "A Theory of Rational Addiction," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 675-700, August.
  4. Abadie, Alberto & Diamond, Alexis & Hainmueller, Jens, 2010. "Synthetic Control Methods for Comparative Case Studies: Estimating the Effect of California’s Tobacco Control Program," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 105(490), pages 493-505.
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