NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Caroline Weber

University of Oregon
Department of Economics
1285 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403-1285
Tel: 5413464677

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org

NBER Working Papers and Publications

March 2018Early Evidence on Recreational Marijuana Legalization and Traffic Fatalities
with Benjamin Hansen, Keaton S. Miller: w24417
Over the last few years, marijuana has become legally available for recreational use to roughly a quarter of Americans. Policy makers have long expressed concerns about the substantial external costs of alcohol, and similar costs could come with the liberalization of marijuana policy. Indeed, the fraction of fatal accidents in which at least one driver tested positive for THC has increased nationwide by an average of 10 percent from 2013 to 2016. For Colorado and Washington, both of which legalized marijuana in 2014, these increases were 92 percent and 28 percent, respectively. However, identifying a causal effect is difficult due to the presence of significant confounding factors. We test for a causal effect of marijuana legalization on traffic fatalities in Colorado and Washington with ...
August 2017The Grass is Greener on the Other Side: How Extensive is the Interstate Trafficking of Recreational Marijuana?
with Benjamin Hansen, Keaton Miller: w23762
Marijuana is partially prohibited: though banned federally, it will soon be available to almost 1 in 4 U.S. adults under state statutes. A chief concern among policy makers is marijuana trafficking from states with legal markets elsewhere. We measure trafficking with a natural experiment. Oregon opened recreationally licensed stores on October 1, 2015, next to Washington where stores had been legally selling recreational marijuana since July, 2014. Using administrative data covering the universe of recreational market sales, we find Washington retailers along the Oregon border experienced a 41% decline in sales immediately following Oregon's market opening. In counties that are the closest crossing point for the majority of the neighboring population, the estimated decrease grows to 58%, a...
July 2017The Taxation of Recreational Marijuana: Evidence from Washington State
with Benjamin Hansen, Keaton Miller: w23632
The median United States voter supports the legalization of marijuana, at least in part due to a desire to increase state tax revenues. However, states with legal markets have implemented wildly different regulatory schemes with tax rates ranging from 3.75 to 37 percent, indicating that policy makers have a range of beliefs about industry responses to taxes and regulation. We examine a policy reform in Washington: a switch from a 25 percent gross receipts tax collected at every step in the supply chain to a sole 37 percent excise tax at retail. Using novel, comprehensive administrative data, we assess responses to the reform throughout the supply and consumption chain. We find the previous tax regime provided strong incentives for vertical integration. Tax invariance did not hold, with som...
 
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