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J Health Econ. 2007 May 1;26(3):643-58. Epub 2006 Dec 15.

Rationality and drug use: an experimental approach.

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  • 1LARGE (National Institute of Horticulture), 2 rue Le Nôtre, 49045 Angers Cedex, France.


In rational addiction theory, higher discount rates encourage drug use. We test this hypothesis in the general framework of rationality and behaviour under risk. We do so using an experimental design with real monetary incentives. The decisions of 34 drug addicts are compared with those of a control group. The decisions of drug users (DU) are not any less consistent with standard theories of behaviour over time and under risk. Further, there is no difference in the estimated discount rate between drug users and the control group, but the former do appear to be more risk-seeking.

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