Addictions, Disorders and Nutrition: What Shapes the Health of Children and Working-Age Adults?
Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017 3:15 PM – 5:15 PM
- Chair: Jody Sindelar, Yale University
Supply-Side Drug Policy in the Presence of Substitutes: Evidence from the Introduction of Abuse-Deterrent Opioids
AbstractOverdose deaths from prescription opioid pain relievers nearly quadrupled between 1999 and 2010, making this the worst drug overdose epidemic in U.S. history. In response, numerous supply-side interventions have aimed to limit access to opioids. However, these supply disruptions may have the unintended consequence of increasing the use of substitute drugs, including heroin. We study the consequences of one of the largest supply disruptions to date to abusable opioids – the introduction of an abuse-deterrent version of OxyContin in 2010. Our analysis exploits across state variation in exposure to the OxyContin reformulation. Using data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), we show that states with higher pre-2010 rates of OxyContin misuse experienced larger reductions in OxyContin misuse, permitting us to isolate consumer substitution responses. We estimate large differential increases in heroin deaths immediately after reformulation in states with the highest initial rates of OxyContin misuse. We find less evidence of differential reductions in overall opioid-related deaths, potentially due to substitution towards other opioids, including more harmful synthetic opioids such as fentanyl. Our results imply that a substantial share of the dramatic increase in heroin deaths since 2010 can be attributed to the reformulation of OxyContin.
The Effect of Food Stamps on Children's Health: Evidence from Immigrants' Changing Eligibility
AbstractThe Food Stamp program is currently one of the largest safety net programs in the United States and is especially important for families with children: 25% of all children received Food Stamp benefits in 2011. The existing evidence on the effects of Food Stamps on children's and families' outcomes is limited, however, because it is a federal program with little quasi-experimental variation. I utilize a large and previously unexplored source of quasi-experimental variation--changes in immigrant families' eligibility across states and over time from 1996 to 2003--to estimate the effect of Food Stamps on children's health. I analyze how access to Food Stamps from the time children are in utero to their fifth birthday affects their medium-run health outcomes. I find that an additional year of eligibility in early life leads to large improvements in health outcomes at ages 6-16, providing some of the first evidence that early-life resource shocks impact later-life health as early as school age.
- I1 - Health