NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Opium Wars, Opium Legalization, and Opium Consumption in China

Jeffrey A. Miron, Chris Feige

NBER Working Paper No. 11355
Issued in May 2005
NBER Program(s):   HE   ITI

The effect of drug prohibition on drug consumption is a critical issue in debates over drug policy. One episode that provides information on the consumption-reducing effect of drug prohibition is the Chinese legalization of opium in 1858. In this paper we examine the impact of China's opium legalization on the quantity and price of British opium exports from India to China during the 19th century. We find little evidence that legalization increased exports or decreased price. Thus, the evidence suggests China's opium prohibition had a minimal impact on opium consumption.

download in pdf format
   (186 K)

email paper

The NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health provides summaries of publications like this.  You can sign up to receive the NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health by email.

This paper is available as PDF (186 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w11355

Published: Chris Feige & Jeffrey Miron, 2008. "The opium wars, opium legalization and opium consumption in China," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 15(12), pages 911-913. citation courtesy of

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Keller, Li, and Shiue w17754 Shanghai’s Trade, China’s Growth: Continuity, Recovery, and Change since the Opium War
Keller, Li, and Shiue w16550 China’s Foreign Trade: Perspectives From the Past 150 Years
Miron w9689 The Effect of Drug Prohibition on Drug Prices: Evidence from the Markets for Cocaine and Heroin
Miron w6950 Violence and the U.S. Prohibition of Drugs and Alcohol
Pacula, Chriqui, and King w9690 Marijuana Decriminalization: What does it mean in the United States?
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us