Journal of Economics

, Volume 94, Issue 3, pp 261–274

Persistent high ambition and substance abuse: a rationalization of a vicious circle


DOI: 10.1007/s00712-008-0005-3

Cite this article as:
Levy, A. & Faria, J.R. J Econ (2008) 94: 261. doi:10.1007/s00712-008-0005-3


While the current use of some mind-altering substances alleviates current level of depression, it facilitates future depression. Our analysis incorporates this intertemporal tradeoff and shows that the stationary status of a consistently overly ambitious sophisticated user is improved by impatience, and that this improvement is amplified by the ratio of the instantaneous depression-relief effect to the status-degradation effect of the mind-altering substance. The analysis also shows that the existence of a supportive personal community leads to permanent cyclical use of mind-altering substances.


Ambition Failure Depression Substance abuse Relief Community support Cycles 

JEL Classification

D91 I12 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EconomicsUniversity of WollongongWollongongAustralia
  2. 2.Nottingham Business SchoolNottingham Trent UniversityNottinghamUK

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