CCHE Seminar Series: The Opioid Epidemic – Causes and Consequences

Carolina Arteaga Cabrales
University of Toronto

Friday October 1, 2021, 10am-12pm, Zoom

Abstract: This paper studies the origins and consequences of the opioid epidemic. Drawing on recently unsealed documents from state litigation against Purdue Pharma, we instrument for the supply of prescription opioids by exploiting features of the initial marketing of OxyContin. We find that moving from the 25th-to-the-75th percentile in the distribution of prescription opioid supply increases deaths from prescription opioids by 89% and deaths from all opioids by 39%. This corresponds to over 200,000 deaths.

Carolina Arteaga is an Assistant Professor at the economics department in the University of Toronto. She received her PhD in 2019 from the University of California, Los Angeles, and works on applied microeconomics topics such as health, education, gender and crime.