Demand for Narcotics in Thailand, with Policy Implications


  • Renu Sukharomana Institute of Social and Economic Sciences, Dhurakij Pundit University, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Chia-Lin Chang Department of Applied Economics, Department of Finance, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung, Taiwan



Price elasticity of demand, Narcotics, Amphetamines, Ice drug, Marijuana, Policy implications


The paper examines the demand for narcotic drugs, based on Becker (1968), as purported rational behavior of human beings. The results from sampling surveys in eight provinces in Thailand in 2014, representing nationwide drug users/addicts, show that the demand for narcotics (amphetamines, ice drug, and marijuana) are price inelastic (between -0.533 and -0.701), as well as normal goods. The key econometric coefficients in models A and B are 0.192 and 0.0467, respectively, and an increase in income will lead to an increase in the demand for narcotics. In addition, factors affecting the demand for narcotics are the age and age squared of the user, friendship, family member relationship, social relationship, reasons for drug use, risk behavior, and expected punishment. Public policy implications are also proposed and analysed.


Economic Approach, National Bureau of Economic Research.
Becker, G.S.and Murphy, K., 1988, A Theory of Rational Addiction, Journal of Political Economy, 96(4), 675-700.
Bonger, W.A., 1958, Punishment and Social Structure, in Theoretical Criminology, New York, Oxford University Press.
Fagan, F. and Piquero, A.R, 2007, Rational Choice and Developmental Influences on Recidivism Among Adolescent Felony Offenders, Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, 4(4), 715.
Friedman, M., 1991, The Drug War, Hoover Institution Press.
Herman, Nancy J., 1995, Deviance: A Symbolic Interactionist Approach, Oxford, General Hall.
Murray, C. and Cox, L., 1979, Beyond Probation: Juvenile Corrections and the Chronic Delinquent, London, Sage.
Sukharomana, R., et al., 2015, Supply of and Demand for Narcotics in Thailand and Policy Implication, Bangkok, Thailand Research Fund.
Sutherland, E. H., 1947, Principles of Criminology (4th ed.) Philadelphia, Lippincott.
Trebach, A.S., 1982, The Heroin Solution, New Haven and London, Yale University Press.




How to Cite

Sukharomana, R., & Chang, C.-L. (2017). Demand for Narcotics in Thailand, with Policy Implications. Journal of Reviews on Global Economics, 6, 279–284.



Special Issue - Recent Topical Research on Global, Energy, Health & Medical, and Tourism Economics, and Global Software