IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zbw/cegedp/353.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Illicit drugs and the decline of the middle class

Author

Listed:
  • Grossmann, Volker
  • Strulik, Holger

Abstract

Empirical evidence for the U.S. suggests that the consumption of intoxicants increases in association with the socio-economic deprivation of the middle-class. To explore the underlying mechanisms, we set up a task-based labor market model with endogenous mental health status and a health care system. The decline of tasks that were historically performed by the middle class and the associated decline in relative wages and socio-economic status increases the share of mentally ill middle class workers. Mentally ill workers can mitigate their hardships by the intake of illicit drugs or by consuming health goods. We argue that explaining the drug epidemic of the U.S. middle class requires an interaction of socio-economic decline and falling opioid prices. One factor in isolation is typically insufficient. Our analysis also points to a central role of the health care system. In our model, extending mental health care could motivate the mentally ill to abstain from illicit drug consumption.

Suggested Citation

  • Grossmann, Volker & Strulik, Holger, 2018. "Illicit drugs and the decline of the middle class," University of Göttingen Working Papers in Economics 353, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:cegedp:353
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/181446/1/1029326452.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Strulik, Holger, 2021. "From pain patient to junkie: An economic theory of painkiller consumption and its impact on wellbeing and longevity," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C).
    2. Amy Finkelstein & Erzo F. P. Luttmer & Matthew J. Notowidigdo, 2013. "What Good Is Wealth Without Health? The Effect Of Health On The Marginal Utility Of Consumption," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11, pages 221-258, January.
    3. David H. Autor & David Dorn & Gordon H. Hanson, 2013. "The China Syndrome: Local Labor Market Effects of Import Competition in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(6), pages 2121-2168, October.
    4. Haan, Peter & Hammerschmid, Anna & Schmieder, Julia, 2019. "Mortality in midlife for subgroups in Germany," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    5. Abby Alpert & David Powell & Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, 2018. "Supply-Side Drug Policy in the Presence of Substitutes: Evidence from the Introduction of Abuse-Deterrent Opioids," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 1-35, November.
    6. David H. Autor & David Dorn & Gordon H. Hanson & Jae Song, 2014. "Trade Adjustment: Worker-Level Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(4), pages 1799-1860.
    7. Colantone, Italo & Crinò, Rosario & Ogliari, Laura, 2019. "Globalization and mental distress," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 181-207.
    8. Abeliansky, Ana Lucia & Beulmann, Matthias, 2019. "Are they coming for us? Industrial robots and the mental health of workers," University of Göttingen Working Papers in Economics 379, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    9. Italo Colantone & Rosario Crinò & Laura Ogliari, 2015. "The Hidden Cost of Globalization: Import Competition and Mental Distress," CESifo Working Paper Series 5586, CESifo.
    10. Dockner, Engelbert J & Feichtinger, Gustav, 1993. "Cyclical Consumption Patterns and Rational Addiction," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 256-263, March.
    11. Anne Case & Angus Deaton, 2017. "Mortality and Morbidity in the 21st Century," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 48(1 (Spring), pages 397-476.
    12. Amy Finkelstein & Sarah Taubman & Bill Wright & Mira Bernstein & Jonathan Gruber & Joseph P. Newhouse & Heidi Allen & Katherine Baicker, 2012. "The Oregon Health Insurance Experiment: Evidence from the First Year," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(3), pages 1057-1106.
    13. Janet Currie & Hannes Schwandt & Josselin Thuilliez, 2020. "Pauvreté, Egalité, Mortalité: mortality (in)equality in France and the United States," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 33(1), pages 197-231, January.
    14. Kerwin Kofi Charles & Erik Hurst & Mariel Schwartz, 2019. "The Transformation of Manufacturing and the Decline in US Employment," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(1), pages 307-372.
    15. Strulik, Holger, 2018. "Smoking kills: An economic theory of addiction, health deficit accumulation, and longevity," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 1-12.
    16. Justin R. Pierce & Peter K. Schott, 2020. "Trade Liberalization and Mortality: Evidence from US Counties," American Economic Review: Insights, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 47-64, March.
    17. Ilaria Natali & Mathias Dewatripont & Victor Ginsburgh & Michel Goldman & Patrick Legros, 2020. "Prescription Opioids and Economic Hardship in France," Working Papers ECARES 2020-01, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    18. Hans Peter Gruner & Giacomo Corneo, 2000. "Social Limits to Redistribution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1491-1507, December.
    19. Acemoglu, Daron & Autor, David, 2011. "Skills, Tasks and Technologies: Implications for Employment and Earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 12, pages 1043-1171, Elsevier.
    20. Power, C. & Stansfeld, S. A. & Matthews, S. & Manor, O. & Hope, S., 2002. "Childhood and adulthood risk factors for socio-economic differentials in psychological distress: evidence from the 1958 British birth cohort," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 55(11), pages 1989-2004, December.
    21. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2018. "Deaths of Despair or Drug Problems?," NBER Working Papers 24188, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Amnon Levy & João Faria, 2008. "Persistent high ambition and substance abuse: a rationalization of a vicious circle," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 94(3), pages 261-274, September.
    23. 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.
    24. Anne Case & Angua Deaton, 2015. "Rising morbidity and mortality in midlife among white non-Hispanic Americans in the 21st century," Working Papers 15078.full.pdf, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
    25. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2019. "Drivers of the fatal drug epidemic," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 25-42.
    26. Pickett, Kate E. & Wilkinson, Richard G., 2015. "Income inequality and health: A causal review," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 316-326.
    27. Reiss, Franziska, 2013. "Socioeconomic inequalities and mental health problems in children and adolescents: A systematic review," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 24-31.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Simone Balestra & Helge Liebert & Nicole Maestas & Tisamarie B. Sherry, 2021. "Behavioral Responses to Supply-Side Drug Policy During the Opioid Epidemic," NBER Working Papers 29596, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Krenz, Astrid & Strulik, Holger, 2022. "Automation and the fall and rise of the servant economy," University of Göttingen Working Papers in Economics 431, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    3. Strulik, Holger, 2022. "A health economic theory of occupational choice, aging, and longevity," University of Göttingen Working Papers in Economics 432, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    4. Balestra, Simone & Liebert, Helge & Maestas, Nicole & Sherry, Tisamarie B., 2022. "Behavioral Responses to Supply-Side Drug Policy During the Opioid Epidemic," IZA Discussion Papers 15221, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Simone Balestra & Helge Liebert & Nicole Maestas & Tisamarie B. Sherry, 2022. "Behavioral Responses to Supply-Side Drug Policy During the Opioid Epidemic," CESifo Working Paper Series 9704, CESifo.
    6. Strulik, Holger, 2020. "Opioid epidemics," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 37(C).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Fernández Guerrico, Sofía, 2021. "The effects of trade-induced worker displacement on health and mortality in Mexico," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(C).
    2. Hummels, David & Munch, Jakob R. & Xiang, Chong, 2016. "No Pain, No Gain: The Effects of Exports on Effort, Injury, and Illness," IZA Discussion Papers 10036, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Strulik, Holger, 2021. "From pain patient to junkie: An economic theory of painkiller consumption and its impact on wellbeing and longevity," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C).
    4. Strulik, Holger, 2020. "Opioid epidemics," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 37(C).
    5. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2019. "Drivers of the fatal drug epidemic," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 25-42.
    6. David Hummels & Jakob Munch & Chong Xiang, 2016. "No Pain, No Gain: Work Demand, Work Effort, and Worker Health," NBER Working Papers 22365, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Dow, William H. & Godøy, Anna & Lowenstein, Christopher & Reich, Michael, 2020. "Can Labor Market Policies Reduce Deaths of Despair?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(C).
    8. Courtney C. Coile & Mark G. Duggan, 2019. "When Labor's Lost: Health, Family Life, Incarceration, and Education in a Time of Declining Economic Opportunity for Low-Skilled Men," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 33(2), pages 191-210, Spring.
    9. Colantone, Italo & Crinò, Rosario & Ogliari, Laura, 2019. "Globalization and mental distress," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 181-207.
    10. Dow, Wiiliam H & Godoey, Anna & Lowenstein, Christopher A & Reich, Michael, 2019. "Can Economic Policies Reduce Deaths of Despair? Working Paper #104-19," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt14f015df, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
    11. Haan, Peter & Hammerschmid, Anna & Schmieder, Julia, 2019. "Mortality in midlife for subgroups in Germany," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    12. Davide Consoli & Francesco Vona & Francesco Rentocchini, 2016. "That was then, this is now: skills and routinization in the 2000s," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(5), pages 847-866.
    13. Gihleb, Rania & Giuntella, Osea & Zhang, Ning, 2020. "Prescription drug monitoring programs and neonatal outcomes," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(C).
    14. César, Andrés & Falcone, Guillermo & Gasparini, Leonardo, 2021. "Costs and benefits of trade shocks: Evidence from Chilean local labor markets," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(C).
    15. Besedeš, Tibor & Lee, Seung Hoon & Yang, Tongyang, 2021. "Trade liberalization and gender gaps in local labor market outcomes: Dimensions of adjustment in the United States," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 183(C), pages 574-588.
    16. Italo Colantone & Alessia Matano & Paolo Naticchioni, 2020. "New imported inputs, wages and worker mobility [Computing person and firm effects using linked longitudinal employer-employee data]," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(2), pages 423-457.
    17. Strulik, Holger & Trimborn, Timo, 2018. "Hyperbolic discounting can be good for your health," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 44-57.
    18. Aaron Blanco & Jeff Borland & Michael Coelli & James Maccarrone, 2021. "The Impact of Growth in Manufactured Imports from China on Employment in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 97(317), pages 243-266, June.
    19. Chiara Carboni & Elisabetta Iossa & Gianpiero Mattera, 2018. "Barriers towards foreign firms in international public procurement markets: a review," Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, Springer;Associazione Amici di Economia e Politica Industriale, vol. 45(1), pages 85-107, March.
    20. Chiara Carboni & Elisabetta Iossa & Gianpiero Mattera, 2017. "Barriers to Public Procurement: A Review and Recent Patterns in the EU," IEFE Working Papers 92, IEFE, Center for Research on Energy and Environmental Economics and Policy, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Socio-economic deprivation; Intoxicants; Health insurance; Mental health; Middle class;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:cegedp:353. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cdgoede.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cdgoede.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.