IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp3879.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Climbing the Drug Staircase: A Bayesian Analysis of the Initiation of Hard Drug Use

Author

Listed:
  • Bretteville-Jensen, Anne Line

    () (Norwegian Institute for Alcohol and Drug Research (SIRUS))

  • Jacobi, Liana

    () (University of Melbourne)

Abstract

Empirical studies have found that cannabis commonly precedes consumption of drugs like amphetamine, ecstasy, cocaine and heroin. As a result a causal linkage between cannabis and subsequent hard drug use has been hypothesized. Despite mixed empirical evidence and a limited understanding of possible transmission mechanisms, the causal gateway hypothesis has been influential in formulating a strict drug policy in many western countries. Individual differences in proneness and accessibility, however, provide alternative, non-causal explanations for the observed "staircase" pattern and yield potentially different policy implications. We propose a Bayesian estimation and predictive framework to analyze the effects and relative importance of previous cannabis use, proneness and accessibility factors on hard drug initiation and to explore potential policy implications, using data from a unique recent survey of young adults in Norway. Motivated by the gateway transmission channels proposed in the literature, our model allows for a constant and a heterogeneous effect of previous cannabis use on hard drug initiation and, also, a more flexible correlation pattern for the unobservables. We find that proneness, accessibility and previous cannabis use contribute to the observed higher drug use pattern among cannabis users. The latter has the largest effect and is driven by various transmission channels.

Suggested Citation

  • Bretteville-Jensen, Anne Line & Jacobi, Liana, 2008. "Climbing the Drug Staircase: A Bayesian Analysis of the Initiation of Hard Drug Use," IZA Discussion Papers 3879, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3879
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp3879.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. van Ours, Jan C., 2003. "Is cannabis a stepping-stone for cocaine?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 539-554, July.
    2. Beenstock, Michael & Rahav, Giora, 2002. "Testing Gateway Theory: do cigarette prices affect illicit drug use?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 679-698, July.
    3. Hans Melberg & Andrew Jones & Anne Bretteville-Jensen, 2010. "Is cannabis a gateway to hard drugs?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 583-603, June.
    4. 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.
    5. Chib, Siddhartha & Jacobi, Liana, 2007. "Modeling and calculating the effect of treatment at baseline from panel outcomes," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 140(2), pages 781-801, October.
    6. Bretteville-Jensen Anne L & Melberg Hans O & Jones Andrew M, 2008. "Sequential Patterns of Drug Use Initiation - Can We Believe In the Gateway Theory?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(2), pages 1-31, January.
    7. Stephen Pudney, 2003. "The Road to Ruin? Sequences of Initiation to Drugs and Crime in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(486), pages 182-198, March.
    8. Chib, Siddhartha, 2007. "Analysis of treatment response data without the joint distribution of potential outcomes," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 140(2), pages 401-412, October.
    9. 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.
    10. Anne Line Bretteville-Jensen & Erik Biørn, 2004. "Do prices count? A micro-econometric study of illicit drug consumption based on self-reported data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 29(3), pages 673-695, September.
    11. Jeffrey DeSimone, 1998. "Is Marijuana a Gateway Drug?," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 24(2), pages 149-164, Spring.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. DeAngelo, Gregory & Redford, Audrey, 2015. "Is Medical Marijuana a Gateway Drug?: The Effect of Medical Marijuana Legalization on Heroin Use Rates," 2016 Annual Meeting, February 6-9, 2016, San Antonio, Texas 229981, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    2. Waddell, G.R., 2012. "Adolescent drug use and the deterrent effect of school-imposed penalties," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 961-969.
    3. Waddell, Glen R., 2010. "Adolescent Drug Use and the Deterrent Effect of School-Imposed Penalties," IZA Discussion Papers 5047, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    accessibility; Bayesian prior-posterior analysis; Bayesian predictive analysis; cannabis gateway; cannabis use; hard drug use; Markov Chain Monte Carlo; policy; proneness;

    JEL classification:

    • C11 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Bayesian Analysis: General
    • C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • I19 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Other

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3879. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak). General contact details of provider: http://www.iza.org .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.