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Does Marijuana Use Impair Human Capital Formation?

Author

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  • Rosalie Liccardo Pacula
  • Karen E. Ross
  • Jeanne Ringel

Abstract

In this paper we examine the relationship between marijuana use and human capital formation by examining performance on standardized tests among a nationally representative sample of youths from the National Education Longitudinal Survey. We find that much of the negative association between cross-sectional measures of marijuana use and cognitive ability appears to be attenuated by individual differences in school attachment and general deviance. However, difference-in-difference estimates examining changes in test scores across 10th and 12th grade reveal that marijuana use remains statistically associated with a 15% reduction in performance on standardized math tests.

Suggested Citation

  • Rosalie Liccardo Pacula & Karen E. Ross & Jeanne Ringel, 2003. "Does Marijuana Use Impair Human Capital Formation?," NBER Working Papers 9963, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9963
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jeremy W. Bray & Gary A. Zarkin & Chris Ringwalt & Junfeng Qi, 2000. "The relationship between marijuana initiation and dropping out of high school," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(1), pages 9-18.
    2. Tetsuji Yamada & Michael Kendix & Tadashi Yamada, 1993. "The Impact of Alcohol Consumption and Marijuana Use on High School Graduation," NBER Working Papers 4497, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Murnane, Richard J & Willett, John B & Levy, Frank, 1995. "The Growing Importance of Cognitive Skills in Wage Determination," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(2), pages 251-266, May.
    4. Charles Register & Donald Williams & Paul Grimes, 2001. "Adolescent Drug Use and Educational Attainment," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(1), pages 1-18.
    5. Farrell, Phillip & Fuchs, Victor R. & Fuchs, Victor R., 1982. "Schooling and health : The cigarette connection," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 217-230, December.
    6. O'Neill, June, 1990. "The Role of Human Capital in Earnings Differences between Black and White Men," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 25-45, Fall.
    7. Heckman, James J, 1995. "Lessons from the Bell Curve," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(5), pages 1091-1120, October.
    8. Sander, William, 1998. "The effects of schooling and cognitive ability on smoking and marijuana use by young adults," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 317-324, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. van Ours, Jan C. & Williams, Jenny, 2009. "Why parents worry: Initiation into cannabis use by youth and their educational attainment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 132-142, January.
    2. Pinka Chatterji, 2006. "Illicit drug use and educational attainment," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(5), pages 489-511.
    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. Hjalmarsson, Randi, 2008. "Criminal justice involvement and high school completion," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 613-630, March.
    5. Lionel Perini & Joachim Marti, 2013. "The impact of cannabis use on short-term educatonal outcomes," IRENE Working Papers 13-03, IRENE Institute of Economic Research.
    6. Pudney, Stephen & Bryan, Mark & DelBono, Emilia, 2013. "Licensing and regulation of the cannabis market in England and Wales: Towards a cost-benefit analysis," MPRA Paper 50365, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General

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