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'High' achievers? Cannabis access and academic performance

Marie, Olivier and Zölitz, Ulf (2015) 'High' achievers? Cannabis access and academic performance. CEP Discussion Papers (CEPDP1340). Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Abstract

This paper investigates how legal cannabis access affects student performance. Identification comes from an exceptional policy introduced in the city of Maastricht which discriminated legal access based on individuals’ nationality. We apply a difference-in-difference approach using administrative panel data on over 54,000 course grades of local students enrolled at Maastricht University before and during the partial cannabis prohibition. We find that the academic performance of students who are no longer legally permitted to buy cannabis increases substantially. Grade improvements are driven by younger students, and the effects are stronger for women and low performers. In line with how THC consumption affects cognitive functioning, we find that performance gains are larger for courses that require more numerical/mathematical skills. We investigate the underlying channels using students’ course evaluations and present suggestive evidence that performance gains are driven by improved understanding of material rather than changes in students’ study effort.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?...
Additional Information: © 2012 The Authors
Divisions: Centre for Economic Performance
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
JEL classification: I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I0 - General
Sets: Collections > Economists Online
Research centres and groups > Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2015 14:46
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2019 23:26
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/61695

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