Publication Date

Spring 2008


This paper examines how socioeconomic factors contribute to initial use of crack cocaine and to eventual addiction. The paper focuses on two specific questions: what characteristics influence crack cocaine use initially and why do people continue to use crack cocaine? In order to answer these questions the paper utilizes basic supply and demand theory as well as general physiological theory on drug dependence. These theories, coupled with previous literature, suggest characteristics that would increase the probability of a person trying crack cocaine. However they also indicate that once a person has become addicted, these characteristics no longer matter. Ordinary Least Squares regressions as well as logistic models are utilized on crack cocaine related data from the 2006 National Household Survey on Drug Use and Health. In general, results are consistent with the theory. It also appears that historical associations between race and crack cocaine use seem to have changed.



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