Atlantic Economic Journal

, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 303–314 | Cite as

Are Illegal Drugs Inferior Goods in the US?



Using data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, evidence of income inferiority in illegal drug consumption is presented. This is done by estimation of binary choice probit models with endogenous regressors. The endogeneity of income with regard to drug consumption is considered and the more efficient three-stage least squares procedures have been implemented. In general, the results indicate that accounting for endogeneity improves results on income inferiority with regard to drug consumption. An implication of this study is that some form of income distribution policies towards the poor might be more effective in controlling substance abuse. It also points out the regressive nature of the government’s substance abuse program.


Income inferiority Illegal drugs Public policy 

JEL Classification




The author wishes to thank the program participants, including the discussant Justo Manrique, for helpful comments. The author also thanks William Trumbull, Stratford Douglas, Subhayu Bandyopadhayay, Alexei Egorov, and Arabinda Basistha for their useful comments and suggestions. All remaining errors are mine.


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Copyright information

© International Atlantic Economic Society 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsLawrence UniversityAppletonUSA

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