October 6, 2006
New NBER Reports
New NBER report:
- Willingness to Pay for Drug Rehabilitation: Implications for Cost Recovery
- An Experimental Test of Criminal Behavior Among Juveniles and Young Adults
- Immigration and African-American Employment Opportunities: The Response of Wages, Employment, and Incarceration to Labor Supply Shocks
Willingness to Pay for Drug Rehabilitation: Implications for Cost Recovery
by David Bishai, Jody Sindelar
Objectives: This study estimates the value that clients place on drug rehabilitation services at the time of intake and how this value varies with the probability of success and availability of social services.
Methods: We interviewed 241 heroin users who had been referred to, but had not yet entered, methadone maintenance treatment in Baltimore, Maryland. We asked each subject to state a preference among three hypothetical treatment programs that varied across 3domains: weekly fee paid by the client out of pocket ($5 to $100), presence/absence of case management, and time spent heroin-free (3 to 24 months). Each subject was asked to complete 18 orthogonal comparisons. Subsequently each subject was asked if they likely would enroll in their preferred choice among the set of three. We computed the expected willingness to pay (WTP) as the probability of enrollment times the fee considered in each choice considered from a multivariate logistic model that controlled for product attributes. We also estimated the price elasticity of demand.
Results: We found that 21% of clients preferred programs that were logically dominated by other options. The median expected fee subjects were willing to pay for a program that offered 3 months of heroin-free time was $7.30 per week, rising to $17.11 per week for programs that offered 24 months of heroin-free time. The availability of case management increased median WTP by $5.64 per week. The fee was the most important predictor of the self-reported probability of enrollment with a price elasticity of -0.39 (SE 0.042).
Conclusions: Clients' median willingness to pay for drug rehabilitation fell short of the average program costs of $82 per week, which reinforces the need for continued subsidization as drug treatment has high positive externalities. Clients will pay more for higher rates of treatment success and for the presence of case management.
An Experimental Test of Criminal Behavior Among Juveniles and Young Adults
by Michael S. Visser, William T. Harbaugh, Naci H. Mocan
Abstract: We report results from economic experiments that provide a direct test of the hypothesis that criminal behavior responds rationally to changes in the possible rewards and in the probability and severity of punishment. The experiments involve decisions that are best described as petty larceny, and are done using high school and college students who can anonymously take real money from each other. We find that decisions about whether and how much to steal are, in general, rational and responsive to the variations in tradeoffs, and sometimes, though not always, to the overall availability of criminal opportunities.
Immigration and African-American Employment Opportunities: The Response of Wages, Employment, and Incarceration to Labor Supply Shocks
George J. Borjas, Jeffrey Grogger, Gordon H. Hanson
Abstract: The employment rate of black men, and particularly of low-skill black men, fell precipitously from 1960 to 2000. At the same time, the incarceration rate of black men rose markedly. This paper examines the relation between immigration and these trends in black employment and incarceration. Using data drawn from the 1960-2000 U.S. Censuses, we find a strong correlation between immigration, black wages, black employment rates, and black incarceration rates. As immigrants disproportionately increased the supply of workers in a particular skill group, the wage of black workers in that group fell, the employment rate declined, and the incarceration rate rose. Our analysis suggests that a 10-percent immigrant-induced increase in the supply of a particular skill group reduced the black wage by 3.6 percent, lowered the employment rate of black men by 2.4 percentage points, and increased the incarceration rate of blacks by almost a full percentage point.
October 6, 2006 | Permalink
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