Applying Behavioral Economics to the Challenge of Reducing Cocaine Abuse
Stephen T. Higgins
NBER Working Paper No. 6487
This paper focuses on potential contributions of behavioral economics to reducing cocaine abuse. More specifically, this paper underscores the fundamental role of reinforcement in the genesis and maintenance of cocaine use and explores how reinforcement and consumer-demand theory might be translated into effective strategies for reducing cocaine use. A broad range of relevant research findings are discussed, including preclinical studies conducted with laboratory animals, laboratory and treatment-outcome studies conducted with cocaine abusers, and large epidemiological studies conducted with national samples of the U.S. population.