Illicit drug use, absenteeism, and earnings at six U.S. worksites

Michael T. French, Gary A. Zarkin, Laura J. Dunlap

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)334-346
Number of pages13
JournalContemporary Economic Policy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Public Administration


Dive into the research topics of 'Illicit drug use, absenteeism, and earnings at six U.S. worksites'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this