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The Effect of Illicit Drug Use on the Wages of Young Adults

  • Robert Kaestner

This paper examines the effects of cocaine and marijuana use on the wages of a sample of young adults drawn from the NLS Youth Cohort. The endogeneity of drug use in a wage equation is considered and a 2SLS procedure is implemented. The rather surprising results suggest that for this sample, increased use of marijuana or cocaine is associated with higher wages. The positive relationship between drug use and the wage does not diminish with age, but remains substantially positive. We also investigate whether systematic differences in the return to measures of human capital investments can explain the observed positive relationship between drug use and wages. The results from this analysis do not support such a hypothesis.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w3535.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3535.

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Date of creation: Dec 1990
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Publication status: published as Journal of Labor Economics, vol. 9, no. 4, (October 1991), p. 381-412.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3535
Note: HE
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  1. 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.
  2. Lee, Lung-Fei, 1983. "Generalized Econometric Models with Selectivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(2), pages 507-12, March.
  3. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
  4. James J. Heckman, 1977. "Dummy Endogenous Variables in a Simultaneous Equation System," NBER Working Papers 0177, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Ronald Oaxaca, 1971. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," Working Papers 396, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  6. Luft, Harold S, 1975. "The Impact of Poor Health on Earnings," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 57(1), pages 43-57, February.
  7. Gyourko, Joseph & Tracy, Joseph, 1988. "An Analysis of Public- and Private-Sector Wages Allowing for Endogenous Choices of Both Government and Union Status," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(2), pages 229-53, April.
  8. Lee, Lung-fei & Maddala, G S & Trost, R P, 1980. "Asymptotic Covariance Matrices of Two-Stage Probit and Two-Stage Tobit Methods for Simultaneous Equations Models with Selectivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(2), pages 491-503, March.
  9. Kenny, Lawrence W, et al, 1979. "Returns to College Education: An Investigation of Self-Selection Bias Based on the Project Talent Data," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 20(3), pages 775-89, October.
  10. Murphy, Kevin M & Topel, Robert H, 1985. "Estimation and Inference in Two-Step Econometric Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(4), pages 370-79, October.
  11. Bartel, Ann & Taubman, Paul, 1979. "Health and Labor Market Success: The Role of Various Diseases," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 61(1), pages 1-8, February.
  12. Lee, Lung-Fei, 1978. "Unionism and Wage Rates: A Simultaneous Equations Model with Qualitative and Limited Dependent Variables," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 19(2), pages 415-33, June.
  13. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-55, March-Apr.
  14. Pollak, Robert A, 1970. "Habit Formation and Dynamic Demand Functions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(4), pages 745-63, Part I Ju.
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