The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

5144.0: Wednesday, November 13, 2002 - 3:06 PM

Abstract #42105

Chronic drug use, depression, and labor supply

Pierre K. Alexandre, PhD, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, School of Medicine--University of Miami, Highland Building--Third Floor (D-93), 1801 NW 9 Avenue, Miami, FL 33136, 305-243-3482,

About 1 in every 20 employees experience depression in the U.S. A recent study estimated that in 1990 the economic costs of depressive disorders amounted to $43 billion, with absenteeism alone accounting for $12 billion. Objectives: The study used 1996-1997 data collected in crime-ridden and low-income neighborhoods of Miami, Florida to (1) examine the relationship between depression and employment, (2) conditional on being employed, estimate the effect of depression on annual weeks worked and, (3) examine the robustness of the model estimates to the co-morbid effects of drug use. Methods: The labor supply measures included employment in the past 30 days and number of weeks worked in the past 12 months. The analysis estimated a univariate probit model of employment as well as a bivariate probit model of depression and employment, which accounted for the possible correlation between the unobserved determinants of depression and employment. The annual weeks worked specification was estimated by a standard Tobit model and an instrumental variable Tobit model, which, in addition to the censoring of the observations, accounted for the possible endogeneity of depression. Results: Results indicate that depressed individuals had a 0.18 lower probability of employment relative to non-depressed individuals in the univiariate probit model and a 0.15 lower probability in the bivariate model. Both standard and IV Tobit models found that depression significantly reduced the number of annual weeks worked by 8 weeks. Co-morbid drug use significantly contributed to the estimated effects of depression. Conclusions: Prevention and/or treatment of mental health problems such as depression may yield economic benefits by promoting employment and enhancing labor supply.

Learning Objectives: Participants of this Session will learn

Keywords: Drug Abuse, Depression

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
I have a significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
Relationship: Grants from NIDA

Broad Patterns and Trends in Substance Use and Health Sevices Utilization

The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA