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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," Other publications TiSEM 88955fe2-81a7-4d37-8325-1, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    3. Mark D. Agee, 2020. "Classroom management, persistent bullying, and teacher practices in a discrete choice model of habit formation," Journal of Behavioral Economics for Policy, Society for the Advancement of Behavioral Economics (SABE), vol. 4(1), pages 5-16, December.
    4. D. Mark Anderson & Kyutaro Matsuzawa & Joseph J. Sabia, 2020. "Cigarette Taxes and Teen Marijuana Use," NBER Working Papers 26780, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Kannika Damrongplasit & Cheng Hsiao, 2009. "Decriminalization Policy And Marijuana Smoking Prevalence: A Look At The Literature," The Singapore Economic Review (SER), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 54(04), pages 621-644.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. 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), pages 1-30.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
    14. 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.
    15. Miles S. Kimball & Colter M. Mitchell & Arland D. Thornton & Linda C. Young-Demarco, 2009. "Empirics on the Origins of Preferences: The Case of College Major and Religiosity," NBER Working Papers 15182, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Rosalie Liccardo Pacula & Michael Grossman & Frank J. Chaloupka & Patrick M. O'Malley & Lloyd D. Johnston & Matthew C. Farrelly, 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.
    17. Anderson, D. Mark & Matsuzawa, Kyutaro & Sabia, Joseph J., 2020. "Cigarette Taxes and Teen Marijuana Use," IZA Discussion Papers 12980, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    18. 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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    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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