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Marijuana and Alcohol Evidence Using Border Analysis and Retail Sales Data

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Abstract

We use retail scanner data on purchases of alcoholic beverages across US counties for 2006-2015 to study the link between medical marijuana laws (MMLs) and alcohol consumption. To do this we first exploit differences in the timing of marijuana laws among states and find that they are substitutes. We show that unlike traditional national-level analysis, focusing on contiguous border county-pairs provides unbiased estimates of the effect of MMLs on alcohol sales. Specifically, counties located in MML states reduced monthly alcohol sales by 12.4 percent. Results are robust to including placebo effective dates for MMLs in treated states.

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... There is also strong evidence that young adults treat alcohol and marijuana as substitutes (DiNardo and Lemieux, 2001;Crost and Guerrero, 2012;Anderson et al., 2013;Kelly and Rasul, 2014;Sabia et al., 2017;Dragone et al., 2019;Baggio et al., 2020;Miller and Seo, forthcoming). ...
... 3 Specifically, Anderson and Rees (2014a) cited DiNardo and Lemieux (2001), Crost and Guerrero (2012), and Anderson et al. (2013). Since the publication of Anderson and Rees (2014a), additional evidence that alcohol and marijuana are substitutes has been produced (Kelly and Rasul, 2014;Sabia et al. 2017;Miller and Seo, 2018;Baggio et al., 2020), although it is worth noting that, using NSDUH data, Wen et al. (2015) found a positive relationship between MMLs and alcohol consumption. This relationship is revisited below using NSDUH data and alternative strategies for measuring the legalization of medical marijuana. ...
... For example, Chu (2015) found that with the legalization of medical cannabis, arrests for possession of cocaine and heroin combined decreased by 0 to 15 percent, and admissions for heroinrelated treatment decreased by 20 percent (Chu, 2015). Other studies have found that alcohol consumption decreases (Baggio, Chong, & Kwon, 2018), alcohol-related traffic fatalities decrease by 13 to 15 percent (Anderson, Hansen, & Rees, 2013), and the number of cigarettes consumed by smokers also decrease, leading to $4.6 to $6.9 ...
... From the perspective of policymakers, any positive effects on the unemployment rate through an increase in the number of employees needs to be balanced against the adverse effects.Medical cannabis legalization has been shown to increase consumption(Martins et al., 2016), and excessive use of cannabis may lead to adverse health issues(Irons et al., 2014;Van Ours, 2007;Van Ours & Williams, 2011Van Ours et al., 2013;Volkow et al., 2014). It may be that these negative effects can be extrapolated to recreational cannabis markets as well; however, they should be weighed against evidence of substitution between cannabis and more harmful substances such as alcohol(Anderson et al., 2013;Baggio et al., 2018), and opioids(Bradford et al., 2018;Doremus et al., 2019;Stith et al., 2019; J. M.Vigil et al., 2017). Besides, federal law still restricts cannabis markets, e.g., through ...
Preprint
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Recreational access to cannabis may have a positive effect on labor demand due to investments in growing, processing and retail cannabis facilities, and spillovers to interconnected industries such as manufacturing, and leisure and hospitality. Using county-level Colorado data from 2011-2018 and exploiting the variation in the timing of commencement of sale of dispensaries, we test for changes in the unemployment rate, employment and wages, overall as well as in manufacturing, construction, and services. Consistent with an increase in labor demand, we estimate that the sale of recreational cannabis through dispensaries is associated with a 0.7 percentage point decrease in the unemployment rate with no effect on total labor force participation. We also find a 4.5 percent increase in the overall number of employees, with effects concentrated in manufacturing and services. We do not find an effect on average weekly wages overall or by sector. Given the lack of a reduction in labor force participation or wages, negative effects on labor supply are likely limited, in line with the existing literature. The decrease in the unemployment rate, coupled with an increase in the number of employees, indicates that labor demand effects are likely to dominate. Our results suggest that policymakers considering recreational access to cannabis should account for increased employment as a possible outcome. From Cal Poly Working Paper Series. To cite: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:cpl:wpaper:2001
... For the past few years, one of the most popular topics in major journals and media outlets has been how medical marijuana use improves health outcomes (1). Studies have found medical marijuana laws (MMLs) are responsible for a 25% decrease in opioid overdose rates (2), a 2.1% reduction in the probability of obesity (3), a 10-20% reduction in Medicaid and Medicare prescriptions (4,5), and a 15% reduction in alcohol sales (6). In major news outlets, the study authors and reporters conclude these findings are evidence of the healthful effects of medical marijuana use (7)(8)(9). ...
... Consider the finding that alcohol sales decreased 15% in MML states (6). Annual US alcohol sales are approximately $210 billion, so a 15% reduction would represent ~$32 billion. ...
... When the minimum drinking age among high school seniors increased, access to and consumption of alcohol reduced, and subsequently, the prevalence of marijuana use increased slightly (DiNardo & Lemieux, 2001). Similarly, Baggio et al. (2017) reported a substitution effect, in that monthly alcohol sales reduced in counties with medical marijuana laws. ...
Article
As the number of adolescents seeking treatment for marijuana use increases, it is important to identify factors that mediate marijuana treatment outcomes. Alcohol consumption is highly prevalent in clinical samples of adolescents but has been neglected as a potential mediator of marijuana use treatment outcomes. In this study, we sought to examine alcohol consumption as a mediator of both marijuana use frequency (number of use days) and negative consequences related to marijuana use in a longitudinal study of 159 adolescents (Mage = 16.69 years; 35% female; 87% White; 70% marijuana as a preferred drug) enrolled in intensive outpatient substance use disorder (SUD) treatment. It was hypothesized that change in both frequency and quantity of alcohol consumption from baseline to 6-month follow-up mediates the association between marijuana use frequency and marijuana-related problems at baseline and 12-month follow-up. Results of path analyses showed that the number of drinking days and total number of drinks consumed at 6 months significantly mediated the change in marijuana-related problems over 12 months, after controlling for gender, preferred drug, and pre-treatment alcohol consumption. However, alcohol consumption was not found to mediate the change in marijuana use frequency. These results highlight the importance of examining both use- and non-use-based treatment outcomes to obtain a more complete picture of treatment outcomes. The findings also suggest that researchers and clinicians should address the use of multiple substances in an integrated way, rather than focusing primarily on an individual’s preferred drug.
... 56. Une étude américaine rendue publique l'an dernier révèle que les ventes d'alcool mensuelles ont diminué de 15 % en moyenne dans les États qui ont légalisé la marijuana médicinale(Baggio et al., 2018). ...
Technical Report
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Après l’Uruguay en 2013, le Canada est le deuxième pays du monde – le premier au sein du G7 – à légaliser la production, la distribution et la détention de cannabis à usage récréatif. À compter du 17 octobre 2018, les adultes canadiens sont autorisés à acheter du cannabis produit sous licence, à détenir jusqu’à 30 grammes de cannabis et, dans la plupart des provinces, à cultiver jusqu'à quatre plants de cannabis à domicile. Le Canada est le premier État fédéral à décliner, à l’échelle de ses territoires, un modèle décentralisé de régulation du cannabis. La loi fédérale adopte une approche axée sur la santé publique et la sécurité des jeunes : elle crée un cadre juridique strict pour contrôler la production, la distribution, la vente et la possession partout au Canada. Cependant, chaque province ou territoire est chargé d'organiser la vente de cannabis et de ses dérivés et peut établir ses propres règles (sur l'âge minimum légal, les quantités, les lieux d’achat ou de consommation autorisés, etc.). Par ailleurs, les municipalités peuvent réglementer la consommation à l'échelle locale. Il reste par ailleurs interdit de transporter n'importe quelle quantité de cannabis à l'extérieur des frontières du Canada. La mise en œuvre de cette réforme engage donc différents niveaux de juridictions et donne lieu à des systèmes de régulation bien différenciés selon les provinces et les territoires. Outre les disparités d’application de la loi fédérale sur le cannabis, la mise en œuvre de la régulation au Canada pose de nombreuses questions. Ses effets sur la santé publique, la sécurité routière et l’économie sont les plus attendus, dans un contexte d’émergence d’une véritable filière industrielle du cannabis adossée au marché de l’alcool. Mais le retentissement de la réforme canadienne se situe surtout au plan international. Le cannabis à usage médical y étant autorisé depuis 2001, le Canada constitue déjà le premier pôle producteur et exportateur de cannabis légal. Siège de plusieurs entreprises du cannabis cotées en Bourse, le Canada peut compter sur de fortes perspectives de développement économique compte tenu de l’interdit de production en vigueur presque partout ailleurs dans le monde. Cette synthèse décrit le processus de réforme, les objectifs de la nouvelle législation et les modalités de régulation du marché mises en place au Canada, avant de conclure sur les points de vigilance à suivre.
... 56. An American study, published last year, revealed that monthly alcohol sales fell by 15% on average in states which legalised medicinal marijuana (Baggio et al., 2018). ...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Following Uruguay in 2013, Canada is the second country in the world – the first in G7 – that has officially legalised the production, distribution and possession of cannabis for recreational use. Starting October 17, 2018, Canadian adults have been legally able to purchase recreational cannabis produced under licence, to possess up to 30 grams of cannabis and, in most provinces, to grow up to four cannabis plants at home. Canada is the first federal state to propose a decentralised model for the regulation of cannabis. The federal Cannabis Act has introduced an approach focused on public health and youth safety: it creates a strict legal framework to control the production, distribution, sale and possession of cannabis throughout Canada. Federal, provincial and territorial governments share responsibility for overseeing the cannabis regulation system. Conspicuously, provinces and territories have had to figure out their own regulation systems for the distribution and sale of cannabis and all related safety measures (for the minimum legal age, quantities and place of purchase or use, etc.), whereas municipalities have the possibility to control use at local level, even though it remains illegal to transport cannabis outside Canadian borders (regardless of quantity). The implementation of this reform involves various jurisdiction levels and diverse regulation systems across the country. Cannabis regulations in Canada raise a number of questions. Its impacts on public health, road safety and the economy are the most anticipated, with the emergence of a genuine cannabis industry, built on the foundations of the alcohol market. This is because the Canadian reform primarily has an international impact. As medical cannabis has been authorised in the country since 2001, Canada is already the leading centre for the production and export of legal cannabis. Home to several cannabis firms listed on the stock exchange, Canada is guaranteed strong economic growth due to the current prohibition on production everywhere else in the world. This overview describes the reform process, the objectives of the new legislation and the market control mechanisms introduced in Canada, before identifying the watch-points to be monitored.
... Indeed, researchers have already commented on how the cannabis industry has adopted marketing strategies that produced successful outcomes for the alcohol and tobacco industries who targeted youth and young adults with innovative marketing strategies and prioritized research and product development (Barry & Glantz, 2016;Hall & Kozlowski, 2017;Richter & Levy, 2014;Subritzky, Lenton, & Pettigrew, 2016). Additionally, the cannabis industry's accelerated growth appears responsible for declining rates of alcohol consumption in states with MMLs (Baggio, Chong, & Kwon, 2017), and alcohol companies have strategically established commercial partnerships with cannabis manufacturers (Maloney & George-Cosh, 2017). Current restrictions on advertising and marketing in Colorado, Washington State, Alaska, and Oregon are variable, but in general, do not prohibit retail sales within 1,000 feet of areas frequented by vulnerable populations, which is a common policy for retail sales and marketing of alcohol and tobacco products (Barry & Glantz, 2016). ...
Article
Legislative reforms have legalized use of cannabis for medical and recreational purposes. Efforts to evaluate the public health impact of these changes have predominantly focused on determining whether liberalizing cannabis policies has increased cannabis use patterns. Co-use of cannabis and other licit substances, namely tobacco and alcohol, is common during the developmental period of adolescence, which is generally characterized by an increase in risk-taking and novelty-seeking. However, limited research has sought to evaluate the potential implications of reforms to medical and recreational cannabis laws on concurrent and simultaneous use of cannabis, tobacco, and alcohol during adolescence. The current report reviews the extant literature detailing the prevalence and outcomes associated with concurrent and simultaneous cannabis–tobacco and cannabis–alcohol use, including recent work that has examined how concurrent and simultaneous use may be influenced by cannabis reform. This review details how the cannabis landscape and cannabis retail marketplace have evolved and briefly summarizes the corresponding policy and regulatory challenges that have emerged. The report concludes with a focused cannabis co-use research agenda that adopts different strategies including behavioural economic, self-administration, and survey research methods.
... Solid evidence of substitution effects is again the missing link. While the lack of good use data hampers the strength of the (ambiguous) evidence for alcohol-cannabis substitution [17], a recent working paper employing electronic point-of-sales data covering 10 years of sales from 90 alcohol-selling chain stores reports a 13% reduction in monthly alcohol sales in MML-state counties [18]. For benzodiazepines, MMLs are associated with reduced prescription of anxiolytics at the state level for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries [5,6], and surveyed medical cannabis users claim reduced consumption of opioids, alcohol and 'other prescription drugs' [7,8,19]. ...
... However, Bradford and Bradford's paper is just 1 of many studies claiming outsized effects from this small population of medical marijuana users. When one also considers that other studies in this area attribute to medical marijuana use to sizable population decreases in alcohol sales (Baggio et al., 2017), body mass index (Sabia et al., 2017), and opioid overdoses , it becomes increasingly difficult to sustain the idea that 2% to 3% of the population using medical marijuana truly has the enormous effects described in this literature (Caputi, under review). This suggests that population-level data do not necessarily reflect the impact of medical marijuana on prescription drug use among individuals. ...
Article
Objectives: Previous studies have found a negative population-level correlation between medical marijuana availability in US states, and trends in medical and nonmedical prescription drug use. These studies have been interpreted as evidence that use of medical marijuana reduces medical and nonmedical prescription drug use. This study evaluates whether medical marijuana use is a risk or protective factor for medical and nonmedical prescription drug use. Methods: Simulations based upon logistic regression analyses of data from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health were used to compute associations between medical marijuana use, and medical and nonmedical prescription drug use. Adjusted risk ratios (RRs) were computed with controls added for age, sex, race, health status, family income, and living in a state with legalized medical marijuana. Results: Medical marijuana users were significantly more likely (RR 1.62, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.50-1.74) to report medical use of prescription drugs in the past 12 months. Individuals who used medical marijuana were also significantly more likely to report nonmedical use in the past 12 months of any prescription drug (RR 2.12, 95% CI 1.67-2.62), with elevated risks for pain relievers (RR 1.95, 95% CI 1.41-2.62), stimulants (RR 1.86, 95% CI 1.09-3.02), and tranquilizers (RR 2.18, 95% CI 1.45-3.16). Conclusions: Our findings disconfirm the hypothesis that a population-level negative correlation between medical marijuana use and prescription drug harms occurs because medical marijuana users are less likely to use prescription drugs, either medically or nonmedically. Medical marijuana users should be a target population in efforts to combat nonmedical prescription drug use.
Book
Contents at a glance At a time when cannabis legalisation is spreading across an increasing number of jurisdictions globally, this book cuts across the noise and presents a factual account of issues faced by regulators in the real-world context of Colorado. It can be read as an evidence-based handbook for regulators and should be a first port of call for anyone interested in the legalisation of cannabis. In January 2014, Colorado implemented a commercial cannabis market for pleasure - the first jurisdiction globally to implement a regulated, adult-use cannabis supply chain from seed-to-sale. It was reported as an historic occasion that presaged a grand social and economic experiment in drug legalisation. Including analysis of hundreds of pages of government documents, almost 1000 media articles, and interviews in the field with over 30 senior government officials, industry executives, and front-line public health representatives, this book is the definitive account of real-world cannabis policy implementation. The cannabis academic public health literature is examined prodigiously including its potential for harm and benefit together with alternative regulatory approaches. The book also features a number of papers published in academic journals based on the PhD research of the author. The commodification of cannabis vs the craft approach together with the entanglement of the medical and recreational markets are two of many topical themes discussed in detail. Multiple recommendations relevant for other jurisdictions considering the legalisation of cannabis are presented. Recognising the limitations of harm reduction approaches that cannot conceptually conceive beneficial aspects of cannabis consumption, a new framework, the spectrum of wellness is proposed as an alternative in Appendix 1 of the book.
Article
Objective: To examine the associations between medical marijuana policies and opioid-related hospitalizations and emergency department visits. Data sources: We utilized quarterly rates of hospital discharge data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project's (HCUP) Fast Stats Database from 2005 to 2016 along with state-level sociodemographic data from US Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics and opioid-related state health policy data from publicly available sources for the analysis. Study design: Analyses were carried out using a difference-in-differences regression approach. We estimate heterogeneous effects of medical marijuana policies such as initial policy, presence of active dispensary, and home cultivation on opioid-related hospitalizations and emergency department visits related to opioids. Data collection/extraction methods: Publicly available secondary data were collected, linked, and analyzed. Observations with missing values for explanatory variables were excluded from the analysis. Principal findings: Regression results indicate that type of medical marijuana policy has varying effects on opioid-related hospitalizations and emergency department visits. States that allow home cultivation of medical marijuana experienced significant positive associations with opioid-related hospitalizations and emergency department visits, while no effect was observed with medical marijuana dispensaries. Moreover, recreational marijuana policies were positively associated with opioid-related hospitalizations. Conclusions: The findings indicate that the effects of medical marijuana policies on opioid-related hospitalizations and emergency department visits vary depending on the type of medical marijuana policy. Our findings indicate that the implementation of home cultivation of marijuana is positively associated with hospitalizations and emergency department visits related to opioids, suggesting that easier access to marijuana among opioid users may result in adverse health conditions that need treatment.
Chapter
Some policy narratives stabilize and remain relatively unchanged over time. Others adapt to a changing environment and may fade away in the face of more powerful, more resonant narratives. In cannabis policy discourse, the long-standing Abstinence narrative, which had gained ascendance during alcohol Prohibition in 1921 before fading in the early 1930s, gained ascendance again in the late 1930s when cannabis was made illegal, and yet again during subsequent episodes of America’s war on drugs. The Compassionate Use narrative, which ushered in the era of medical cannabis, has brought new imagery and considerations that mitigate against the “just-say-no” mantra of the Abstinence narrative. Similarly, a Social Justice narrative may be displacing a Nativist narrative that justifies criminalizing cannabis by associating its use with ethnic minorities, racial minorities, and otherized groups. A Harm reduction narrative bolstered the Social Justice narrative and the Compassionate Use narrative in a seeming alliance. Meanwhile, a Libertarian narrative has persisted throughout the cannabis policy discourse in opposition to incarceration and criminalization.
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We study the behavioral changes caused by marijuana use on sexual activity, contraception, and birth counts by applying a differences-in-differences approach that exploits the variation in timing of the introduction of medical marijuana laws (MMLs) among states. We find that MMLs cause an increase in sexual activity, a reduction in contraceptive use conditional on having sex, and an increase in number of births. There is also suggestive evidence on temporary increases in the state-year gonorrhea rate. These changes may be attributed to behavioral responses including increased attention to the immediate hedonic effects of sexual contact, increased sexual frequency, as well as delayed discounting and ignoring the future costs associated with sex. Our findings on births suggest that behavioral factors can counteract the physiological changes from marijuana use that tend to decrease fertility. Our findings are robust to a broad set of tests.
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Background The overall prevalence of U.S. young adult alcohol use has decreased, but little is known about historical change in related behaviors such as simultaneous alcohol and marijuana (SAM) use that may increase alcohol‐related risks and societal costs. The purpose of this paper was to examine historical change in SAM use prevalence among U.S. young adult alcohol users from 1977 to 2016, and consider the extent to which observed historical change in SAM use among alcohol users reflects co‐occurring change in marijuana use during these years. Methods Data on past 12‐month alcohol, marijuana, and SAM use at up to 6 modal ages (19/20, 21/22, 23/24, 25/26, 27/28, and 29/30) were collected from 11,789 individuals (45.0% men) participating in the Monitoring the Future panel study. Annual prevalence estimates within modal age group were obtained; historical SAM use trends among alcohol and marijuana users were estimated. Results From 2014 to 2016, SAM use was reported by approximately 30% of alcohol users aged 19/20 and 21/22, and 20 to 25% of alcohol users aged 23/24 through 29/30. Since the mid‐1990s, age‐specific historical trends in SAM use prevalence among alcohol users followed 1 of 4 patterns: significant increase followed by oscillating increases/decreases (at modal age 19/20), consistent and significant increases (at modal ages 21/22, 23/24, and 25/26), stability followed by increase (at modal ages 27/28), or stability (at modal ages 29/30). In contrast, SAM use trends among marijuana users primarily reflected stability, with some evidence of a decrease across time at modal ages 19/20 and 23/24. Historical change in SAM prevalence among alcohol users was strongly and positively correlated with changes in overall marijuana use prevalence. Conclusions A growing proportion of early and mid‐young adult alcohol users reported SAM use, with the highest risk among those in the early years of young adulthood. Young adult SAM use may continue to increase in proportion to the degree that young adult marijuana use continues to increase.
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When modelling “social bads,” such as illegal drug consumption, researchers are often faced with a dependent variable characterised by a large number of zero observations. Building on the recent literature on hurdle and double-hurdle models, we propose a double-inflated modelling framework, where the zero observations are allowed to come from the following: nonparticipants; participant misreporters (who have larger loss functions associated with a truthful response); and infrequent consumers. Due to our empirical application, the model is derived for the case of an ordered discrete-dependent variable. However, it is similarly possible to augment other such zero-inflated models (e.g., zero-inflated count models, and double-hurdle models for continuous variables). The model is then applied to a consumer choice problem of cannabis consumption. We estimate that 17% of the reported zeros in the cannabis survey are from individuals who misreport their participation, 11% from infrequent users, and only 72% from true nonparticipants.
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Background: Whether alcohol and cannabis are used as substitutes or complements remains debated, and findings across various disciplines have not been synthesized to date. Objective: This article is a first step towards organizing the interdisciplinary literature on alcohol and cannabis substitution and complementarity. Method: Electronic searches were performed using PubMed and ISI Web of Knowledge. Behavioral studies of humans with "alcohol" (or "ethanol") and "cannabis" (or "marijuana") and "complement(*)" (or "substitut(*)") in the title or as a keyword were considered. Studies were organized according to sample characteristics (youth, general population, clinical and community-based). These groups were not set a priori, but were informed by the literature review process. Results: Of the 39 studies reviewed, 16 support substitution, ten support complementarity, 12 support neither and one supports both. Results from studies of youth suggest that youth may reduce alcohol in more liberal cannabis environments (substitute), but reduce cannabis in more stringent alcohol environments (complement). Results from the general population suggest that substitution of cannabis for alcohol may occur under more lenient cannabis policies, though cannabis-related laws may affect alcohol use differently across genders and racial groups. Conclusions: Alcohol and cannabis act as both substitutes and complements. Policies aimed at one substance may inadvertently affect consumption of other substances. Future studies should collect fine-grained longitudinal, prospective data from the general population and subgroups of interest, especially in locations likely to legalize cannabis.
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This study is the first to examine the effects of medical marijuana laws (MMLs) on body weight, physical wellness, and exercise. Using data from the 1990 to 2012 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and a difference-in-difference approach, we find that the enforcement of MMLs is associated with a 2% to 6% decline in the probability of obesity. We find some evidence of age-specific heterogeneity in mechanisms. For older individuals, MML-induced increases in physical mobility may be a relatively important channel, while for younger individuals, a reduction in consumption of alcohol, a substitute for marijuana, appears more important. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that MMLs may be more likely to induce marijuana use for health-related reasons among older individuals, and cause substitution toward lower-calorie recreational 'highs' among younger individuals. Our estimates suggest that MMLs induce a $58 to $115 per-person annual reduction in obesity-related medical costs. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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We use policy discontinuities at state borders to identify the effects of minimum wages on earnings and employment in restaurants and other low-wage sectors. Our approach generalizes the case study method by considering all local differences in minimum wage policies between 1990 and 2006. We compare all contiguous county pairs in the U.S. that straddle a state border and find no adverse employment effects. We show that traditional approaches that do not account for local economic conditions tend to produce spurious negative effects due to spatial heterogeneities in employment trends that are unrelated to minimum wage policies. Our findings are robust to allowing for long term effects of minimum wage changes.
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The public health costs of tobacco consumption have been documented to be substantially larger than those of marijuana use. This study is the first to investigate the impact of medical marijuana laws (MMLs) on tobacco cigarette consumption. First, using data from the National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), we establish that MMLs induce a 2 to 3 percentage point increase in adult marijuana consumption, likely for both recreational and medicinal purposes. Then, using data from the NSDUH, the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), and the Current Population Survey Tobacco Use Supplements (CPS-TUS), we find that the enactment of MMLs leads to a 1 to 1.5 percentage point reduction in adult cigarette smoking. We also find that MMLs reduce the number of cigarettes consumed by smokers, suggesting effects on both the cessation and intensive margins of cigarette use. Our estimated effect sizes imply substantial MML-induced tobacco-related health-care cost savings, ranging from $4.6 to $6.9 billion per year.
Article
Recent work finds that medical marijuana laws reduce the daily doses filled for opioid analgesics among Medicare Part-D and Medicaid enrollees, as well as population-wide opioid overdose deaths. We replicate the result for opioid overdose deaths and explore the potential mechanism. The key feature of a medical marijuana law that facilitates a reduction in overdose death rates is a relatively liberal allowance for dispensaries. As states have become more stringent in their regulation of dispensaries, the protective value generally has fallen. These findings suggest that broader access to medical marijuana facilitates substitution of marijuana for powerful and addictive opioids.
Article
Objectives: To evaluate motor vehicle crash fatality rates in the first 2 states with recreational marijuana legalization and compare them with motor vehicle crash fatality rates in similar states without recreational marijuana legalization. Methods: We used the US Fatality Analysis Reporting System to determine the annual numbers of motor vehicle crash fatalities between 2009 and 2015 in Washington, Colorado, and 8 control states. We compared year-over-year changes in motor vehicle crash fatality rates (per billion vehicle miles traveled) before and after recreational marijuana legalization with a difference-in-differences approach that controlled for underlying time trends and state-specific population, economic, and traffic characteristics. Results: Pre-recreational marijuana legalization annual changes in motor vehicle crash fatality rates for Washington and Colorado were similar to those for the control states. Post-recreational marijuana legalization changes in motor vehicle crash fatality rates for Washington and Colorado also did not significantly differ from those for the control states (adjusted difference-in-differences coefficient = +0.2 fatalities/billion vehicle miles traveled; 95% confidence interval = -0.4, +0.9). Conclusions: Three years after recreational marijuana legalization, changes in motor vehicle crash fatality rates for Washington and Colorado were not statistically different from those in similar states without recreational marijuana legalization. Future studies over a longer time remain warranted. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print June 22, 2017: e1-e3. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2017.303848).
Article
During the Great Recession, U.S. unemployment benefits were extended by up to 73 weeks. Theory predicts that extensions increase unemployment by discouraging job search, a partial equilibrium effect. Using data from the large job board CareerBuilder.com, I find that a 10% increase in benefit duration decreased state-level job applications by 1%, but had no robust effect on job vacancies. Job seekers thus faced reduced competition for jobs, a general equilibrium effect. Calibration implies that the general equilibrium effect reduces the impact of unemployment insurance on unemployment by 39%.
Article
Objectives: To determine the association of medical marijuana laws (MMLs) with traffic fatality rates. Methods: Using data from the 1985-2014 Fatality Analysis Reporting System, we examined the association between MMLs and traffic fatalities in multilevel regression models while controlling for contemporaneous secular trends. We examined this association separately for each state enacting MMLs. We also evaluated the association between marijuana dispensaries and traffic fatalities. Results: On average, MML states had lower traffic fatality rates than non-MML states. Medical marijuana laws were associated with immediate reductions in traffic fatalities in those aged 15 to 24 and 25 to 44 years, and with additional yearly gradual reductions in those aged 25 to 44 years. However, state-specific results showed that only 7 states experienced post-MML reductions. Dispensaries were also associated with traffic fatality reductions in those aged 25 to 44 years. Conclusions: Both MMLs and dispensaries were associated with reductions in traffic fatalities, especially among those aged 25 to 44 years. State-specific analysis showed heterogeneity of the MML-traffic fatalities association, suggesting moderation by other local factors. These findings could influence policy decisions on the enactment or repealing of MMLs and how they are implemented. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print December 20, 2016: e1-e7. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2016.303577).
Article
I use daily prices collected from online retailers in five countries to study the impact of measurement bias on three common price stickiness statistics. Relative to previous results, I find that online prices have longer durations, with fewer price changes close to 0, and hazard functions that initially increase over time. I show that time-averaging and imputed prices in scanner and CPI data can fully explain the differences with the literature. I then report summary statistics for the duration and size of price changes using scraped data collected from 181 retailers in 31 countries. © 2018 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Article
Evidence suggests that excise taxes on tobacco improve fetal health. However, it remains unknown if smoke exposure in early life causes lasting harm to children. I find that in utero exposure to a dollar increase in the state cigarette tax causes a 10 percent decrease in sick days from school and a 4.7 percent decrease in having two or more doctor visits. I present additional evidence for decreases in hospitalizations and asthma. This supports the hypothesis that exposure to cigarette smoke in utero and infancy carries significant medium-term costs, and that excise taxes can lead to lasting intergenerational improvements in well-being.
Article
We exploit variation in the congestion of civil courts across Brazilian municipalities, together with a bankruptcy reform increasing secured creditors’ protection, to estimate the effect of enforcement on firm access to finance, investment, and size. We find that firms operating in municipalities with less congested courts experienced a larger increase in the use of secured loans, as well as a larger increase in investment and value of output in the years after the reform. To establish the direction of causality, we use an instrumental variable strategy that exploits Brazilian state laws on judicial organization, and focus on differences in court congestion across otherwise similar neighboring municipalities located across judicial district borders within the same state. The evidence indicates that differences in court enforcement affect the impact of financial reform on firm access to finance, investment, and size. JEL Codes: G33, O16.
Article
Utilizing the Current Population Survey, the study identifies that absences due to sickness decline following the legalization of medical marijuana. The effect is stronger in states with 'lax' medical marijuana regulations, for full-time workers, and for middle-aged males, which is the group most likely to hold medical marijuana cards. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Article
Background: Marijuana is the most widely used illicit drug in the United States and all over the world. Reports indicate that the potency of cannabis preparation has been increasing. This report examines the concentration of cannabinoids in illicit cannabis products seized by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration over the last 2 decades, with particular emphasis on Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol. Methods: Samples in this report were received over time from materials confiscated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and processed for analysis using a validated gas chromatography with flame ionization detector method. Results: Between January 1, 1995, and December 31, 2014, 38,681 samples of cannabis preparations were received and analyzed. The data showed that although the number of marijuana samples seized over the last 4 years has declined, the number of sinsemilla samples has increased. Overall, the potency of illicit cannabis plant material has consistently increased over time since 1995 from ~4% in 1995 to ~12% in 2014. The cannabidiol content has decreased on average from ~.28% in 2001 to <.15% in 2014, resulting in a change in the ratio of Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol to cannabidiol from 14 times in 1995 to ~80 times in 2014. Conclusions: There is a shift in the production of illicit cannabis plant material from regular marijuana to sinsemilla. This increase in potency poses higher risk of cannabis use, particularly among adolescents.
Article
We estimate the effect of medical marijuana laws (MMLs) in ten states between 2004 and 2012 on adolescent and adult use of marijuana, alcohol, and other psychoactive substances. We find increases in the probability of current marijuana use, regular marijuana use and marijuana abuse/dependence among those aged 21 or above. We also find an increase in marijuana use initiation among those aged 12-20. For those aged 21 or above, MMLs further increase the frequency of binge drinking. MMLs have no discernible impact on drinking behavior for those aged 12-20, or the use of other psychoactive substances in either age group. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Article
More and more states have passed laws that allow individuals to use marijuana for medical purposes. There is an ongoing, heated policy debate over whether these laws have increased marijuana use among non-patients. In this paper, I address that question empirically by studying marijuana possession arrests in cities from 1988 to 2008. I estimate fixed effects models with city-specific time trends that can condition on unobserved heterogeneities across cities in both their levels and trends. I find that these laws increase marijuana arrests among adult males by about 15–20%. These results are further validated by findings from data on treatment admissions to rehabilitation facilities: marijuana treatments among adult males increased by 10–20% after the passage of medical marijuana laws.
Article
California legalized the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes nearly 17 years ago, representing a major challenge to the federal government’s scheduling of marijuana as a Schedule I drug in the 1970 Controlled Substance Act. As many predicted, California was simply the first. As of May 2013, 19 states and the District of Columbia now provide legal protection to patients, and in many cases caregivers, for possession and supply of marijuana for medicinal purposes. In November 2012, Colorado and Washington went even further legalizing the sale and possession of marijuana for recreational purposes. Given the tremendous natural experiment that is taking place, one might expect that much would already be known about the benefits and harms of liberalizing marijuana policies. Unfortunately, however, the tremendous uncertainty regarding what protections actually exist, and for whom, in addition to the enormous heterogeneity in the medical marijuana laws that continue to change over time, has meant that we do not yet know as much as we should. The questions of whether marijuana is medicine and whether recreational marijuana use is harmless are necessarily intertwined in all of the debates over policy reform, but these are not the focus of this discussion. There is legitimate evidence that active cannabinoids available in the marijuana plant are useful in the treatment of some medical conditions and symptoms (Leung, 2011; Watson, Benson, & Joy, 2000; Institute of Medicine, 1999) and has been for centuries (Eddy, 2010; Grinspoon, 2005). As such, it is not surprising that the American Medical Association (AMA) adopted a resolution in 2009 urging the federal government to review the case for rescheduling marijuana, noting that doing so would facilitate research and development of cannabinoid-based medicine and avoid the patchwork of inadequate state laws that do not focus on establishing clinical guidelines or standards for medically prescribing marijuana (AMA, 2009). There is also evidence in the biomedical and public health literatures of reasonable pathways through which marijuana can harm health or impact health outcomes (see Hall & Pacula, 2003; Hall & Degenhardt, 2009; Room et al., 2010; or Caulkins et al., 2012 for extensive reviews).However, the causal linkage between recreational marijuana use and many of these health outcomes has yet to be fully established and continues to be a matter of scientific inquiry due to imprecise information on amounts consumed or potency of the substance used. Nonetheless, state liberalization policies move forward, and scientists are trying to use these natural experiments to assist in the identification of benefits and harms from these policies.
Article
Examining differences across school district boundaries rather than school attendance zone boundaries has several advantages. These advantages include being applicable when attendance zones are not available or less relevant to educational outcomes as arises with within district school choice and for examining the effect of factors like school spending or property taxes that do not vary within districts. However, school district boundaries have often been in place for many years allowing households to sort based on school quality and potentially creating distinct neighborhoods on either side of boundaries. We estimate models of housing prices using repeated cross-sections of housing transactions near school district boundaries in Connecticut. These models exploit changes over time to control for across boundary differences in neighborhood quality. We find significant effects of test scores on property values, but those effects are notably smaller than both OLS and traditional boundary fixed effects estimates.
Article
This paper sheds light on previous inconsistencies identified in the literature regarding the relationship between medical marijuana laws (MML) and recreational marijuana use by closely examining the importance of policy dimensions (registration requirements, home cultivation, dispensaries) and the timing of them. Using data from our own legal analysis of state MMLs, we evaluate which features are associated with adult and youth recreational use by linking these policy variables to data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY97), the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) and the Treatment Episodes Data System (TEDS). Our analyses control for state and year fixed effects, using within state policy changes over time to estimate the effect on changes in our outcome variables using a difference-in-differences approach. We find that while simple dichotomous indicators are generally not associated with marijuana use, specific dimensions of MMLs, namely home cultivation and legal dispensaries, are positively associated with marijuana use in each data set. Moreover, these same dimensions are tied to binge drinking and fatal alcohol automobile accidents as well. The findings have important implications for states considering legalization of marijuana, as regulating access to and promotion of dispensaries may be key for reducing the harms associated with these policies.
Article
Although policymakers and law enforcement officials argue that medical marijuana laws (MMLs) “send the wrong message” to young people, previous studies have produced no evidence of a causal relationship between MMLs and marijuana use among teens. Using data from the national and state Youth Risk Behavior Surveys, the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997, and the Treatment Episode Data Set, we revisit this relationship. Our results are not consistent with the hypothesis that legalization of medical marijuana leads to increased marijuana use among teenagers.
Article
Cannabis, or marijuana, has been used for medicinal purposes for many years. Several types of cannabinoid medicines are available in the United States and Canada. Dronabinol (schedule III), nabilone (schedule II), and nabiximols (not U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved) are cannabis-derived pharmaceuticals. Medical cannabis or medical marijuana, a leafy plant cultivated for the production of its leaves and flowering tops, is a schedule I drug, but patients obtain it through cannabis dispensaries and statewide programs. The effect that cannabinoid compounds have on the cannabinoid receptors (CB(1) and CB(2) ) found in the brain can create varying pharmacologic responses based on formulation and patient characteristics. The cannabinoid Δ(9) -tetrahydrocannabinol has been determined to have the primary psychoactive effects; the effects of several other key cannabinoid compounds have yet to be fully elucidated. Dronabinol and nabilone are indicated for the treatment of nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy and of anorexia associated with weight loss in patients with acquired immune deficiency syndrome. However, pain and muscle spasms are the most common reasons that medical cannabis is being recommended. Studies of medical cannabis show significant improvement in various types of pain and muscle spasticity. Reported adverse effects are typically not serious, with the most common being dizziness. Safety concerns regarding cannabis include the increased risk of developing schizophrenia with adolescent use, impairments in memory and cognition, accidental pediatric ingestions, and lack of safety packaging for medical cannabis formulations. This article will describe the pharmacology of cannabis, effects of various dosage formulations, therapeutics benefits and risks of cannabis for pain and muscle spasm, and safety concerns of medical cannabis use.
Article
In volume 30, issue 4 of this journal Bariş Yörük and Ceren Yörük (Y&EY) used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Youth, 1997 (NLSY97) and a regression discontinuity design to estimate the effect of the minimum legal drinking age on a variety of substances including marijuana. They obtained evidence that the probability of marijuana use increased sharply at the age of 21, consistent with the hypothesis that alcohol and marijuana are complements, but inadvertently conditioned on having used marijuana at least once since the last survey. Applying the Y&EY research design to all NLSY97 respondents ages 19 through 22, we find no evidence that alcohol and marijuana are complements.
Article
In volume 30, issue 4 of this journal, we used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Youth, 1997 cohort (NLSY97) to estimate the impact of the minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) laws on alcohol consumption, smoking, and marijuana use among young adults. In our analysis, we used a restricted sample of young adults and considered only those who have consumed alcohol, smoked cigarettes, or used marijuana at least once since the date of their last interview. In this paper, we revisit our original study using the full sample. We show that our results for alcohol consumption in the full sample are similar to those from the restricted sample. However, the effect of the MLDA on smoking and marijuana use is smaller and often statistically insignificant.
Article
This paper examines how estimates of the price elasticity of demand for beer vary with the choice of alcohol price series examined. Our most important finding is that the commonly used ACCRA price data are unlikely to reliably indicate alcohol demand elasticities-estimates obtained from this source vary drastically and unpredictably. As an alternative, researchers often use beer taxes to proxy for alcohol prices. While the estimated beer taxes elasticities are more stable, there are several problems with using taxes, including difficulties in accounting for cross-price effects. We believe that the most useful estimates reported in this paper are obtained using annual Uniform Product Code (UPC) "barcode" scanner data on grocery store alcohol prices. These estimates suggest relatively low demand elasticity, probably around -0.3, with evidence that the elasticities are considerably overstated in models that control for beer but not wine or spirits prices.
Article
This paper estimates the effects of alcohol prices, marijuana decriminalization, cocaine prices, and heroin prices on the demand for these four substances. Both own price effects and cross price effects are estimated. The estimated price elasticities for alcohol, cocaine, and heroin are, respectively, –.30, –.28 and –.94. Marijuana decriminalization was found to increase the probability of marijuana participation by about 8%. The results for the cross price effects provide general evidence of complementarity. It is estimated that decriminalization of cocaine and heroin might lead to about 260,000 new regular cocaine users and about 47,000 new regular heroin users. (JEL 110)
Article
Policymakers and the public have a clear interest in encouraging teens to delay becoming sexually active or, if they are sexually active, to use birth control. Many researchers have argued that reducing substance use among teens will accomplish both of these goals, yet work in this area has failed to control for unobservables that are potentially correlated with substance use and sexual behavior. Using a variety of estimation techniques and data from National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we estimate the effects of marijuana and alcohol use on two outcomes: the probability of being sexually active, and the probability of having sex without contraception. Our results highlight the importance of controlling for unobservables and indicate that the link between substance use and sexual behavior is much weaker than previously suggested.
Article
This paper exploits the discontinuity created by the minimum legal drinking age of 21 years to estimate the causal effect of increased alcohol availability on marijuana use. We find that consumption of marijuana decreases sharply at age 21, while consumption of alcohol increases, suggesting that marijuana and alcohol are substitutes. We further find that the substitution effect between alcohol and marijuana is stronger for women than for men. Our results suggest that policies designed to limit alcohol use have the unintended consequence of increasing marijuana use.
Article
This paper uses a regression discontinuity design to estimate the impact of the minimum legal drinking age laws on alcohol consumption, smoking, and marijuana use among young adults. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (1997 Cohort), we find that granting legal access to alcohol at age 21 leads to an increase in several measures of alcohol consumption, including an up to a 13 percentage point increase in the probability of drinking. Furthermore, this effect is robust under several different parametric and non-parametric models. We also find some evidence that the discrete jump in alcohol consumption at age 21 has negative spillover effects on marijuana use but does not affect the smoking habits of young adults. Our results indicate that although the change in alcohol consumption habits of young adults following their 21st birthday is less severe than previously known, policies that are designed to reduce drinking among young adults may have desirable impacts and can create public health benefits.
Article
Background: Following the discovery of an endogenous cannabinoid system and the identification of specific cannabinoid receptors in the central nervous system, much work has been done to investigate the main effects of these compounds. There is increasing evidence that the cannabinoid system may regulate neurodegenerative processes such as excessive glutamate production, oxidative stress and neuroinflammation. Neurodegeneration is a feature common to the various types of dementia and this has led to interest in whether cannabinoids may be clinically useful in the treatment of people with dementia. Recent studies have also shown that cannabinoids may have more specific effects in interrupting the pathological process in Alzheimer's disease. Objectives: To determine from available research whether cannabinoids are clinically effective in the treatment of dementia. Search strategy: The Specialized Register of the Cochrane Dementia and Cognitive Improvement Group (CDCIG), The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, CINAHL and LILACS were searched on 11 April 2008 using the terms: cannabis or cannabinoid* or endocannabinoid* or cannabidiol or THC or CBD or dronabinol or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or marijuana or marihuana or hashish. The CDCIG Specialized Register contains records from all major health care databases (The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, CINAHL, LILACS) as well as from many clinical trials registries and grey literature sources. Selection criteria: All double-blind and single (rater)-blind randomized placebo controlled trials assessing the efficacy of cannabinoids at any dose in the treatment of people with dementia. Data collection and analysis: Two reviewers independently examined the retrieved studies for inclusion according to the selection criteria. They then independently assessed the methodological quality of selected trials and extracted data where possible. Main results: Only one study met the inclusion criteria. The data in the study report were presented in such a way that they could not be extracted for further analysis and there was insufficient quantitative data to validate the results. Authors' conclusions: This review finds no evidence that cannabinoids are effective in the improvement of disturbed behaviour in dementia or in the treatment of other symptoms of dementia. More randomized double-blind placebo controlled trials are needed to determine whether cannabinoids are clinically effective in the treatment of dementia.
Article
Previous studies suggest that alcohol and marijuana are economic substitutes, so recent policies restricting the availability of alcohol have led to an increase in the amount of marijuana consumed. Using micro-level data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) to estimate individual demand equations for alcohol and marijuana, this research finds that alcohol and marijuana are economic complements, not substitutes. Further, this research finds that increases in the federal tax on beer will generate a larger reduction in the unconditional demand for marijuana than for alcohol in percentage terms.
Article
This paper analyzes the impact of increases in the minimum drinking age on the prevalence of alcohol and marijuana use among high school seniors. The empirical analysis is based on a large sample of students from 43 states over the years 1980-1989. We find that increases in the legal minimum drinking age did slightly reduce the prevalence of alcohol consumption. We also find, however, that increased legal minimum drinking ages had the unintended consequence of slightly increasing the prevalence of marijuana consumption. Estimates from a structural model suggest that this unintended consequence is attributable to standard substitution effects.
Article
Previous research has shown that the recent tightening of college alcohol policies has been effective at reducing college students' drinking. Over the period in which these stricter alcohol policies have been put in place, marijuana use among college students has increased. This raises the question of whether current policies aimed at reducing alcohol consumption are inadvertently encouraging marijuana use. This paper begins to address this question by investigating the relationship between the demands for alcohol and marijuana for college students using data from the 1993, 1997 and 1999 waves of the Harvard School of Public Health's College Alcohol Study (CAS). We find that alcohol and marijuana are economic complements and that policies that increase the full price of alcohol decrease participation in marijuana use.
Article
In order to assess the current knowledge on the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids, a meta-analysis was performed through Medline and PubMed up to July 1, 2005. The key words used were cannabis, marijuana, marihuana, hashish, hashich, haschich, cannabinoids, tetrahydrocannabinol, THC, dronabinol, nabilone, levonantradol, randomised, randomized, double-blind, simple blind, placebo-controlled, and human. The research also included the reports and reviews published in English, French and Spanish. For the final selection, only properly controlled clinical trials were retained, thus open-label studies were excluded. Seventy-two controlled studies evaluating the therapeutic effects of cannabinoids were identified. For each clinical trial, the country where the project was held, the number of patients assessed, the type of study and comparisons done, the products and the dosages used, their efficacy and their adverse effects are described. Cannabinoids present an interesting therapeutic potential as antiemetics, appetite stimulants in debilitating diseases (cancer and AIDS), analgesics, and in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, Tourette's syndrome, epilepsy and glaucoma.
Article
This paper examines the substitutability of alcoholic beverages and marijuana among youths. Results indicate that drinking frequency and heavy drinking are negatively related to beer prices, but positively related to the full price of marijuana. The implications of this for driving while intoxicated are examined using self-reported involvement in non-fatal accidents and state-level youth motor vehicle accident fatality rates. The results imply that the net effect of an increase in the full price of alcohol on youth traffic crashes is negative, while the opposite is found for marijuana.
Article
This paper evaluates the health impact of a signature initiative of the War on Poverty: the roll out of the modern Food Stamp Program (FSP) during the 1960s and early 1970s. Using variation in the month the FSP began operating in each U.S. county, we find that pregnancies exposed to the FSP three months prior to birth yielded deliveries with increased birth weight, with the largest gains at the lowest birth weights. These impacts are evident with difference-in-difference models and event study analyses. Estimated impacts are robust to inclusion of county fixed effects, time fixed effects, measures of other federal transfer spending, state by year fixed effects, and county-specific linear time trends. We also find that the FSP rollout leads to small, but statistically insignificant, improvements in neonatal infant mortality. We conclude that the sizeable increase in income from Food Stamp benefits improved birth outcomes for both whites and African Americans, with larger impacts for births to African American mothers.
Article
Many surveys contain a wealth of subjective questions that are at first glance rather exciting. Examples include "How important is leisure time to you?" "How satisfied are you with yourself?"; or "How satisfied are you with your work?" Yet despite easy availability, this is one data source that economists rarely use. In fact, the unwillingness to rely on such questions marks an important divide between economists and other social scientists. This neglect does not come from disinterest. Most economists would probably agree that the variables these questions attempt to uncover are interesting and important. But they doubt whether these questions elicit meaningful answers. These doubts are, however, based on a priori skepticism rather than on evidence. This ignores a large body of experimental and empirical work that has investigated the meaningfulness of answers to these questions. Our primary objective in this paper is to summarize this literature for an audience of economists. Thereby turning a vague implicit distrust into an explicit position grounded in facts. Having summarized the findings, we integrate them into a measurement error framework so as to understand what they imply for empirical research relying on subjective data. Finally, in order to calibrate the extent of the measurement error problem, we perform some simple empirical work using specific subjective questions.
Article
Applying the Coase Theorem to marital bargaining suggests that shifting from consent to unilateral divorce laws will not affect divorce rates. I show that existing evidence suggesting large effects of divorce laws on divorce rates reflect a failure to explicitly model the dynamic response of divorce rates to a shock to the legal regime. When accounting for these dynamics, I find that unilateral divorce spiked following the adoption of unilateral divorce laws, but that this rise largely reversed itself within a decade. Overall, these changes in family law explain very little of the rise in divorce over the past half-century. (JEL C78, J12)
Uruguay's cannabis law: Pioneering a new paradigm
  • J Hudak
  • J Ramsey
  • J Walsh
Hudak, J., J. Ramsey, and J. Walsh (2018) "Uruguay's cannabis law: Pioneering a new paradigm," Center for Effective Public Management. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution