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Adolescent Alcohol and Marijuana Consumption: Is There Really a Gateway Effect?

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  • Rosalie Liccardo Pacula

Abstract

This research analyzes the contemporaneous and intertemporal relationship between the demands for alcohol and marijuana by youths and young adults. A general theory of multi-commodity habit formation is developed and tested using data from the 1983-1984 waves of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. An Adjusted Tobit specification is employed for estimating the empirical model. Habit persistence is distinguished from unobserved heterogeneity through a reduced form instrumental variable technique. The results show that higher beer prices significantly reduce the demand for both alcohol and marijuana, indicating a contemporaneous complementarity between these two substances even after controlling for commodity-specific habit formation. Further, prior use of alcohol and cigarettes significantly increases the likelihood of currently using marijuana, providing evidence in support of the gateway hypothesis.

Suggested Citation

  • Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, 1998. "Adolescent Alcohol and Marijuana Consumption: Is There Really a Gateway Effect?," NBER Working Papers 6348, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6348
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    Cited by:

    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. van Ours, J.C., 2005. "Cannabis Use When it's Legal," Discussion Paper 2005-12, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    3. Carlos Casacuberta & Mariana Gerstenblüth & Patricia Triunfo, 2012. "Aportes del análisis económico al estudio de las drogas," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 0112, Department of Economics - dECON.
    4. repec:wsi:serxxx:v:54:y:2009:i:04:n:s0217590809003483 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Farrelly, Matthew C. & Bray, Jeremy W. & Zarkin, Gary A. & Wendling, Brett W., 2001. "The joint demand for cigarettes and marijuana: evidence from the National Household Surveys on Drug Abuse," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 51-68, January.
    6. Sen, Bisakha & Agarwal, Rajshree & Hofler, Richard, 2002. "Teenage Indulgence in Cigarettes, Alcohol and Marijuana: Evidence of a "Gateway" Effect," Working Papers 02-0103, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Business.
    7. Clements, Kenneth W., 2004. "Three facts about marijuana prices," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 48(2), June.
    8. Rosa Duarte & Jose Julián Escario & José Alberto Molina, 2011. "Peer Effects, Unobserved Factors And Risk Behaviours In Adolescence," Revista de Economia Aplicada, Universidad de Zaragoza, Departamento de Estructura Economica y Economia Publica, vol. 19(1), pages 125-151, Spring.
    9. DiNardo, John & Lemieux, Thomas, 2001. "Alcohol, marijuana, and American youth: the unintended consequences of government regulation," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 991-1010, November.
    10. Kenneth Clements & Yihui Lan & Xueyan Zhao, 2010. "The demand for marijuana, tobacco and alcohol: inter-commodity interactions with uncertainty," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 203-239, August.
    11. David Figlio & Jens Ludwig, 2012. "Sex, Drugs, and Catholic Schools: Private Schooling and Non-Market Adolescent Behaviors," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 13(4), pages 385-415, November.
    12. 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.
    13. Patrick M. O'Malley & Michael Grossman & Frank J. Chaloupka, 2001. "Marijuana and Youth," NBER Chapters,in: Risky Behavior among Youths: An Economic Analysis, pages 271-326 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
      • R. L. Pacula & M. Grossman & F. J. Chaloupka & P. M. O'Malley & L. Johnston & M. C. Farrelly, 2000. "Marijuana and Youth," NBER Working Papers 7703, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Jose Arranz & Ana Gil, 2009. "Traffic accidents, deaths and alcohol consumption," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(20), pages 2583-2595.

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    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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