In this paper we examine the relationship between marijuana use and human capital formation by
examining performance on standardized tests among a nationally representative sample of youths
from the National Education Longitudinal Survey. We find that much of the negative association
between cross-sectional measures of marijuana use and cognitive ability appears to be attenuated
by individual differences in school attachment and general deviance. However, difference-indifference
estimates examining changes in test scores across 10th and 12th grade reveal that
marijuana use remains statistically associated with a 15% reduction in performance on
standardized math tests.
This research was performed within RAND Health.
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