NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Keshar M. Ghimire

Business and Economics Department
University of Cincinnati - Blue Ash
9555 Plainfield Road
Blue Ash, OH 45236
USA
Tel: 513-936-1767

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

September 2017The Impact of State Medical Marijuana Laws on Social Security Disability Insurance and Workers' Compensation Benefit Claiming
with Johanna Catherine Maclean, Lauren Hersch Nicholas: w23862
We study the effect of state medical marijuana laws (MMLs) on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Workers' Compensation (WC) claiming. We use data on benefit claiming drawn from the 1990 to 2013 Current Population Survey coupled with a differences-in-differences design. We find that passage of an MML increases SSDI, but not WC, claiming on both the intensive and extensive margins. Post-MML the propensity to claim SSDI increases by 0.27 percentage points (9.9%) and SSDI benefits increase by 2.6%. We identify heterogeneity by age and the manner in which states regulate medical marijuana. Our findings suggest an unintended consequence of MMLs: increased reliance on costly social insurance programs among working age adults.
 
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