The Effects of Cannabis Use on Physical and Mental Health

CentER Working Paper Series No. 2011-079

34 Pages Posted: 20 Jul 2011 Last revised: 2 Aug 2011

See all articles by Jan C. van Ours

Jan C. van Ours

Tilburg University - Department of Economics; University of Melbourne - Department of Economics

Jenny Williams

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 30, 2011

Abstract

This paper investigates whether cannabis use affects physical and mental health. To do so, information on prime aged individuals living in Amsterdam in 1994 is used. Dutch data offer a clear advantage in estimating the health impacts of cannabis use because the legal status of cannabis in the Netherlands ensures that estimates are free from confounding with the physical and psychological effects of engaging in a criminal activity. Accounting for selection into cannabis use and shared frailties in mental and physical health, the results suggest that cannabis use reduces the mental well-being of men and women and the physical well-being of men. Although statistically significant, the magnitude of the effect of using cannabis on mental and physical health is found to be small.

Keywords: cannabis use, physical health, mental health, duration models

JEL Classification: C41, D12, I19

Suggested Citation

van Ours, Jan C. and Williams, Jenny, The Effects of Cannabis Use on Physical and Mental Health (July 30, 2011). CentER Working Paper Series No. 2011-079. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1890571 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1890571

Jan C. Van Ours (Contact Author)

Tilburg University - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands
+31 13 466 2880 (Phone)
+31 13 466 3042 (Fax)

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics ( email )

Melbourne, 3010
Australia

Jenny Williams

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics ( email )

Melbourne, 3010
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://www.economics.unimelb.edu.au/staffprofile/jwilliams.htm

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