Discussion Paper

No. 2008-8 | March 17, 2008
West-East Convergence in the Prevalence of Illicit Drugs: Socioeconomics or Culture?

Abstract

In contrast to West-Germany, illicit drugs were virtually absent in the East-Germany until 1990. Yet, after the collapse of the former GDR, East-Germany was expected to encounter a sharp increase in the prevalence of substance abuse. By analyzing individual data, we find that East-Germany largely caught up with West-Germany’s ever-growing prevalence of illicit drugs within a single decade. We decompose the west-east difference in prevalence rates into an explained and an unexplained part using a modified Blinder-Oaxaca procedure. This decomposition suggests that the observed convergence is just weakly related to socioeconomic characteristics and therefore remains mainly unexplained. That is, West- and East-Germans seem to have become more alike per se. We conclude that both parts of the country have converged in terms of the culture of drug consumption.

JEL Classification

I12 P23 P36

Cite As

Harald Tauchmann (2008). West-East Convergence in the Prevalence of Illicit Drugs: Socioeconomics or Culture?. Economics Discussion Papers, No 2008-8, Kiel Institute for the World Economy. http://www.economics-ejournal.org/economics/discussionpapers/2008-8

Assessment



Comments and Questions


Anonymous - Referee Report
May 07, 2008 - 10:43

See attached file


Harald Tauchmann - Response to Referee 1
June 11, 2008 - 08:42

Response to Referee 1

Many thanks for your comments. They were indeed very constructive. You will find below some indication of how I will take them into account in preparing the revision of the paper.


Best Regards,
Harald


Anonymous - Referee Report
May 19, 2008 - 10:51

See attached file


Harald Tauchmann - Response to Referee 2
June 13, 2008 - 08:57

Response to Referee 2

Many thanks for your comments. They were indeed very constructive. You will find below some indication of how I will take them into account in preparing the revision of the paper.

Best Regards,
Harald