Prescription opioid use and employment : a nationwide Finnish register study
Böckerman, P., Haapanen, M., Hakulinen, C., & Vainiomäki, J. (2021). Prescription opioid use and employment : a nationwide Finnish register study. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 227, Article 108967. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2021.108967
Published inDrug and Alcohol Dependence
DisciplineEmpirical MicroeconomicsPolitiikkarelevantti taloustiede (painoala)TaloustiedeBasic or discovery scholarshipEmpirical MicroeconomicsPolicy-Relevant Economics (focus area)EconomicsBasic or discovery scholarship
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V.
Background The secular decline in labor market participation and the concurrent increase in opioid use in many developed countries have sparked a policy debate on the possible connection between these two trends. We examined whether the use of prescription opioids was connected to labor market outcomes relating to participation, employment and unemployment among the Finnish population. Methods The working-age population (aged 19–64 years) living in Finland during the period 1995–2016 was used in the analyses (consisting of 67 903 701 person-year observations). Lagged values of prescription opioid use per capita were used as the exposure. Instrumental variables (IV) estimation method was used to identify causal effects, where opioid use per capita for the elderly (65–95-year-old) was used as an instrument for the opioid use per capita for the working-age population of the same gender, education and region. Results Increased opioid use led to worse labor market outcomes in the long run, with the effect size of 16% and 20%, compared to the standard deviation of the employment and participation rates. On the contrary, in the short run, increased opioid use had positive employment effects. Conclusions Policymakers should take the contradictory short- and long-term effects into account while considering regulation and monitoring of opioid use. Regulating and monitoring long-term prescription opioids is crucial for reducing their negative labor market consequences. ...
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- Kauppakorkeakoulu 
Related funder(s)Academy of Finland; Yrjö Jahnsson Foundation
Funding program(s)Strategic research programmes, AoF
Additional information about fundingFunding from the Academy of Finland (314208 to P.B., M.H. & J.V. and 310591 to C.H.), OP Group Research Foundation (to M.H.) and Yrjö Jahnsson Foundation (6621 to M.H.) is acknowledged.
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