ILLICIT DRUG USE, ABSENTEEISM, AND EARNINGS AT SIX U.S. WORKSITES
MICHAEL T. FRENCH
GARY A. ZARKIN
LAURA J. DUNLAP
Considerable national attention has focused recently on the adverse consequences of illicit drug use. While several studies estimate the relationship between illicit drug use and wages, the findings are inconsistent. Surprisingly, some researchers identify a positive and statistically significant relationship between wages and drug use for young adults. Motivated by this counter-intuitive finding, this paper compiles unique data on employees at six worksites in order to explore the relationships among drug use, wages, and absenteeism. Using various measures of current and lifetime drug use and accounting for alcohol-use comorbidity, the authors find predominantly insignificant relationships (both direct and indirect) between drug use and both wages and absenteeism, regardless of gender. Copyright 1998 Western Economic Association International.
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