We use postpartum survey data linked to medical records and city-level drug prices to estimate the demand for illicit drugs among pregnant women. We find that a $10 increase in the retail price of a gram of pure cocaine decreases illicit drug use by 12–15%. The estimated price effects for heroin are lower than for cocaine and are less robust across alternative model specifications. This study provides the first estimates of the effects of drug prices on prenatal drug use and yields important information about the potential of drug enforcement as a tool for reducing illicit drug use among pregnant women.
Corman, H., Noonan, K., Reichman, N.E. and Dave, D. (2005), "Demand for Illicit Drugs Among Pregnant Women", Lindgren, B. and Grossman, M. (Ed.) Substance Use: Individual Behaviour, Social Interactions, Markets and Politics (Advances in Health Economics and Health Services Research, Vol. 16), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 41-60. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0731-2199(05)16003-8
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