Alexander Cheung's Roger S Smith 2019 Research Project

Alexander Cheung, MA Economics student researches loss in labour productivity from Opiod Crisis in Roger S Smith 2019 Research Project.

24 September 2019

This summer Alexander Cheung, MA Economics student, developed a research project under a 2019 Roger S. Smith Researcher Award. His project title was, "Loss of Life and Labour Productivity: The Canadian Opioid Crisis".

Since 2016, over 11,500 Canadians have lost their lives to opioid overdose. However, it is estimated that nearly 70% of these victims were gainfully employed in the 5 years before they died. Furthermore, most victims were males aged 30-39 meaning that the average victim forfeited 22 years of labour productivity. This research project measured the losses in labour productivity from this crisis using a Human Capital model adapted for the Canadian labour market. The total losses amount to approximately $4.73 Billion dollars. While past losses are irreversible, future public policy interventions will likely alter the trajectory of future losses.