Carolina Arteaga, University of Toronto

A Manufactured Tragedy: The Origins and Deep Ripples of the Opioid Epidemic.


This paper studies the origins and consequences of the opioid epidemic. Drawing on recently unsealed records from state litigation against Purdue Pharma, we exploit detailed features of the marketing of OxyContin, which initially targeted the cancer pain market, to assess the role of supply side factors and to instrument for the level of prescription opioids. We document a strong link between Purdue Pharma’s promotional targeting and future increases in the supply of prescription opioids and overdose deaths. Also we estimate the epidemic triggered a large increase in disability and SNAP claims and was accompanied by worsening of infant health and increased non-marital fertility rates.

Carolina Arteaga is an economist with research interests in health, education, and crime. She is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Toronto. Carolina received her Ph.D. from UCLA in 2019, and a MA and BA from Universidad de los Andes.

You can read more about Carolina Arteaga here

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