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Demand for Illicit Drugs by Pregnant Women

Author

Listed:
  • Hope Corman
  • Kelly Noonan
  • Nancy E. Reichman
  • Dhaval Dave

Abstract

We use survey data that have been linked to medical records data and city-level drug prices to estimate the demand for illicit drugs among pregnant women. The prevalence of prenatal drug use based on post partum interviews was much lower than that based on evidence in the mothers' and babies' medical records. We found that a $10 increase in the retail price of a gram of pure cocaine decreases illicit drug use by 12 to 15%. The estimated price effects for heroin are lower than for cocaine and are less robust across alternative model specifications. This study provides the first estimates of the effects of drug prices on prenatal drug use and yields important information about the potential of drug enforcement as a tool for improving birth outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Hope Corman & Kelly Noonan & Nancy E. Reichman & Dhaval Dave, 2004. "Demand for Illicit Drugs by Pregnant Women," NBER Working Papers 10688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10688
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Saffer, Henry & Chaloupka, Frank, 1999. "The Demand for Illicit Drugs," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 37(3), pages 401-411, July.
    2. H Saffer & FJ Chaloupka & D Dave, 2001. "State Drug Control Spending And Illicit Drug Participation," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 19(2), pages 150-161, April.
    3. Kaestner, Robert & Joyce, Theodore & Wehbeh, Hassan, 1996. "The Effect of Maternal Drug Use on Birth Weight: Measurement Error in Binary Variables," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 34(4), pages 617-629, October.
    4. Colman, Greg & Grossman, Michael & Joyce, Ted, 2003. "The effect of cigarette excise taxes on smoking before, during and after pregnancy," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 1053-1072, November.
    5. Friedrich Schneider, 2001. "What Do We Know About the Shadow Economy?," World Economics, World Economics, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 2(4), pages 19-32, October.
    6. Grossman, Michael & Chaloupka, Frank J., 1998. "The demand for cocaine by young adults: a rational addiction approach," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 427-474, August.
    7. Hope Corman & Theodore J. Joyce & Michael Grossman, 1987. "Birth Outcome Production Function in the United States," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 22(3), pages 339-360.
    8. Suren Basov & Mireille Jacobson & Jeffrey A. Miron, 2001. "Prohibition and the Market for Illegal Drugs," World Economics, World Economics, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 2(4), pages 133-157, October.
    9. Evans, William N. & Ringel, Jeanne S., 1999. "Can higher cigarette taxes improve birth outcomes?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 135-154, April.
    10. Hope Corman & Theodore J. Joyce & Michael Grossman, 1985. "Birth Outcome Production Functions in the U.S," NBER Working Papers 1729, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Kuziemko, Ilyana & Levitt, Steven D., 2004. "An empirical analysis of imprisoning drug offenders," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 2043-2066, August.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law

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