Jonas Y. Jin
Dept. of Economics
Julis Romo Rabinowitz building
Institutional Affiliation: Princeton University
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|March 2018||U.S. Employment and Opioids: Is There a Connection?|
with Janet Currie, Molly Schnell: w24440
This paper uses quarterly county-level data from 2006–2014 to examine the direction of causality in the relationship between per capita opioid prescription rates and employment-to-population ratios. We first estimate models of the effect of per capita opioid prescription rates on employment-to-population ratios, instrumenting opioid prescriptions for younger ages using opioid prescriptions to the elderly. We find that the estimated effect of opioids on employment-to-population ratios is positive but small for women, while there is no relationship for men. We then estimate models of the effect of employment-to-population ratios on opioid prescription rates using a shift-share instrument, and find ambiguous results. Overall, our findings suggest that there is no simple causal relationship be...