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Going after the Addiction, Not the Addicted: The Impact of Drug Decriminalization in Portugal

Sónia Félix, Pedro Portugal and Ana Tavares ()
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Ana Tavares: Universidade Nova de Lisboa

No 10895, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of drug decriminalization in Portugal using the Synthetic Control Method. The applied econometric methodology compares Portuguese drug-related variables with the ones extracted from a convex combination of similar European countries. The results suggest that a policy change implemented in Portugal contributed to a decrease in the number of heroine and cocaine seizures, a decrease in the number of offenses and drug-related deaths, and a decrease in the number of clients entering treatment. Moreover, the policy change contributed to a reduction in the incidence of drug addicts among HIV individuals.

Keywords: drug decriminalization policy; illicit drugs; synthetic control method (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C21 D04 K42 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 31 pages
Date: 2017-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eur, nep-hea, nep-law and nep-ltv
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