National Bureau of Economic Research

Better OxyContin Leads to Worse Heroin Epidemic

The conventional wisdom on the opioid crisis is that prescription drug dependency was a major factor behind the surge of addictions and overdoses. This belief was challenged by studies demonstrating that prescription drug problems from the 1990s and 2000s were fading before the current opioid crisis began, and the real problem today is with street drugs like heroin and fentanyl. New research highlights a very sharp dividing line between the earlier pill problem and today’s drug crisis: OxyContin was reformulated in 2010 to cut down on abuse, so addicts turned to heroin.

ST. JOHNSBURY, VT - FEBRUARY 06: Drugs are prepared to shoot intravenously by a user addicted to heroin on February 6, 2014 in St. Johnsbury Vermont. Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin recently devoted his entire State of the State speech to the scourge of heroin. Heroin and other opiates have begun …

Report: California’s High Welfare Benefits Attract New Immigrants

In a report entitled “Immigrants Tend to Live in High Welfare Benefit States,” published on Jan. 26, 2015, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) determined that “the generous welfare benefits offered by some states have magnetic effects and alter the geographic sorting of immigrants in the United States”–attracting many to California.

EBT California (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)