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The Economic Analysis of Substance Use and Abuse

An Integration of Econometric and Behavioral Economic Research

Conventional wisdom once held that the demand for addictive substances like cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs was unlike that for any other economic good and, therefore, unresponsive to traditional market forces. Recently, however, researchers from two disparate fields, economics and behavioral psychology, have found that increases in the overall price of an addictive substance can significantly reduce both the number of users and the amounts those users consume. Changes in the "full price" of addictive substances—including monetary value, time outlay, effort to obtain, and potential penalties for illegal use—yield marked variations in behavioral outcomes and demand.

The Economic Analysis of Substance Use and Abuse brings these distinctive fields of study together and presents for the first time an integrated assessment of their data and results. Unique and innovative, this multidisciplinary volume will serve as an important resource in the current debates concerning alcohol and drug use and abuse and the impacts of legalizing illicit drugs.

393 pages | 68 line drawings, 59 tables | 6 x 9 | © 1999

National Bureau of Economic Research Conference Report

Economics and Business: Health Economics

Table of Contents

Frank J. Chaloupka, Michael Grossman, Warren K. Bickel, and Henry Saffer.
I. Cigarette Smoking and Other Tobacco Use
1. Tobacco Taxes, Smoking Restrictions, and Tobacco Use
Robert L. Ohsfeldt, Raymond G. Boyle, and Eli I. Capilouto.
2. The Behavioral Economics of Smoking
Warren K. Bickel and Gregory J. Madden.
Comment (on chaps. 1 and 2): Kenneth E. Warner
Comment (on chaps. 1 and 2): Neil E. Grunberg
II. Alcohol Use and Abuse
3. The Effects of Price Changes on Alcohol Consumption in Alcohol-Experienced Rats
Jeffrey K. Sarbaum, Solomon W. Polachek, and Norman E. Spear.
4. Delayed Reward Discounting in Alcohol Abuse
Rudy E. Vuchinich and Cathy A. Simpson.
Comment (on chaps. 3 and 4): Michael E. Hilton
Comment (on chaps. 3 and 4): Thomas F. Babor
III. Illicit Drug Use
5. The Demand for Cocaine and Marijuana by Youth
Frank J. Chaloupka, Michael Grossman, and John A. Tauras.
6. Applying Behavioral Economics to the Challenge of Reducing Cocaine Abuse
Stephen T. Higgins
Comment (on chaps. 5 and 6): Jonathan P. Caulkins
Comment (on chaps. 5 and 6): David Shurtleff
IV. Polydrug Use
7. Demographic Differentials in the Demand for Alcohol and Illicit Drugs
Henry Saffer and Frank J. Chaloupka.
8. A Behavioral Economic Analysis of Polydrug Abuse in Heroin Addicts
Nancy M. Petry and Warren K. Bickel.
Comment (on chaps. 7 and 8): A. Thomas McLellan
Comment (on chaps. 7 and 8): Mark A. R. Kleiman
V. Substance Abuse and Employment
9. Are Alcoholics in Bad Jobs?
Donald S. Kenkel and Ping Wang.
10. Employment as a Drug Abuse Treatment Intervention: A Behavioral Economic Analysis
Kenneth Silverman and Elias Robles.
Comment (on chaps. 9 and 10): John Mullahy
Comment (on chaps. 9 and 10): Sharon M. Hall
VI. Substance Use and Income
11. Income Alters the Relative Reinforcing Effects of Drug and Nondrug Reinforcers
Marilyn E. Carroll
12. Does Drug Use Cause Poverty?
Robert Kaestner
Comment (on chaps. 11 and 12): Christopher J. Ruhm
Comment (on chaps. 11 and 12): Steven R. Hursh
Author Index
Subject Index

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