Opioid Prescriptions and the Educational Performance of Children
18 Pages Posted: 6 Nov 2019 Last revised: 14 Feb 2020
Date Written: October 27, 2019
This study examines the relationship between local-area opioid prescription rates and student performance on end-of-year mathematics exams in the state of South Carolina between 2006-2017. We link individual test score data for 3rd-8th grade students to county-level changes in opioid prescriptions per 100 people. Findings show that an increase in the opioid prescription rate in a county statistically reduced white student test scores, but no such decline was found among non-white students. Among white students the effects are strongest on rural students in households that are not receiving SNAP or TANF benefits. These results are robust to controls for changing county-level economic conditions and controls for student-level poverty.
Keywords: Opioids Prescriptions, Math Test Scores, Academic Outcomes
JEL Classification: I12, I18, I20, I30
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