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Prescription Opioids and Economic Hardship in France

Author

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  • Natali, Ilaria
  • Dewatripont, Mathias
  • Ginsburgh, Victor
  • Goldman, Michel
  • Legros, Patrick

Abstract

This paper studies how opioid analgesic sales are empirically related to socioeconomic disparities in France, with a focus on poverty. This analysis is made possible using the OpenHealth database, which provides retail sales data for opioid analgesics available on the French market. We exploit firm-level data for each of the 94 departments in Metropolitan France between 2008 and 2017. We show that increases in the poverty rate are associated with increases in sales: a one percentage point increase in poverty is associated with approximately a five percent increase in mild opioid sales. Our analysis further shows that opioid sales are positively related to the share of middle-aged people and individuals with basic education only, while they are negatively related to population density. The granularity and longitudinal nature of these data allow us to control for a large pool of potential confounding factors. Our results suggest that additional interventions should be more intensively addressed towards the most deprived areas. We conclude that a combination of policies aimed at improving economic prospects and strictly monitoring access to opioid medications would be beneficial for reducing opioid-related harm.

Suggested Citation

  • Natali, Ilaria & Dewatripont, Mathias & Ginsburgh, Victor & Goldman, Michel & Legros, Patrick, 2022. "Prescription Opioids and Economic Hardship in France," TSE Working Papers 22-1388, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  • Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:127557
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    Cited by:

    1. Grossmann, Volker & Strulik, Holger, 2021. "Illicit drugs and the decline of the middle class," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 183(C), pages 718-743.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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