Congratulations to fellow Olivier Marie (Erasmus University Rotterdam) whose article “High Achievers: Cannabis Access and Academic Performance” has been accepted for the Review of Economic Studies. View paper here.

This paper investigate show legal cannabis access affects student performance. Identification comes from an exceptional policy introduced in the city of Maastricht in the Netherlands that discriminated access via licensed cannabis shops based on an individual’s nationality. We apply a difference – in – difference approach using administrative panel data on 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 substantially increases. Grade improvements are driven by younger students and the  effects are stronger for women and low performers. In line with how cannabis consumption affects cognitive functioning, we find that performance gains are larger for courses that require more numerical/mathematical skills. Our investigation of underlying channels using course evaluations suggests that performance gains are driven by an
improved understanding of the material rather than changes in students’ study effort

Article citation: Olivier Marie and Ulf Zölitz, ‘High Achievers: Cannabis Access and Academic Performance’, Review of Economic Studies, forthcoming 2017.