Michael Reich is Professor of Economics and Co-Chair of the Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics at the Inst... Read Bio
The goal of the study is to develop a more complete understanding of the intersection between the opioid epidemic and labor market outcomes, and to examine the role of economic policies as potential strategies to address this public health crisis. While the tragic health effects of the epidemic are well documented, research on its effect on labor market outcomes, such as labor force participation and unemployment, are fewer and have obtained mixed results. Using data from the OptumLabs Data Warehouse (OLDW) aggregated at the county-level, and linked with county-level data from HRSA Area Health Resource File (AHRF), the researchers will examine the causal relationship between the supply of high-risk opioid prescriptions and labor force participation. The project will also examine the role of two economic policies designed to raise incomes for low income Americans – the minimum wage and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) – as potential strategies to reduce the rate of opioid overdose, the prevalence of opioid use disorder, and the number of high-risk opioid prescriptions. Deliverables will include a project work plan and final narrative report. The researchers will also produce paper(s) suitable for publication and present findings at national research meetings and to other stakeholder audiences as appropriate, including policymakers at the federal, state, and local levels and other key stakeholders, as part of the deliverables for this grant.
Grantee Institution: University of California, Berkeley
Grant Period: 9/15/19 – 9/14/20