NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Hefei Wen

Emory University
Department of Health Management
and Policy
1518 Clifton Rd
Atlanta GA, 30322

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

NBER Working Papers and Publications

October 2014The Effect of Substance Use Disorder Treatment Use on Crime: Evidence from Public Insurance Expansions and Health Insurance Parity Mandates
with Jason M. Hockenberry, Janet R. Cummings: w20537
We examine the effect of increasing the substance use disorder (SUD) treatment rate on reducing violent and property crime rates, based on county-level panels of SUD treatment and crime data between 2001 and 2008 across the United States. To address the potential endogeneity of the SUD treatment rate with respect to crime rate, we exploit the exogenous variation in the SUD treatment rate induced by two state-level policies, namely insurance expansions under the Health Insurance Flexibility and Accountability (HIFA) waivers and parity mandates for SUD treatment. Once we address the endogeneity issue, we are able to demonstrate an economically meaningful reduction in the rates of robbery, aggravated assault and larceny theft attributable to an increased SUD treatment rate. A back-of-the-enve...
May 2014The Effect of Medical Marijuana Laws on Marijuana, Alcohol, and Hard Drug Use
with Jason Hockenberry, Janet R. Cummings: w20085
21 states and the District of Columbia currently have laws that permit marijuana use for medical purposes, often termed medical marijuana laws (MMLs). We tested the effects of MMLs adopted in seven states between 2004 and 2011 on adolescent and adult marijuana, alcohol, and hard drug use. We employed a restricted-access version of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) micro-level data with geographic identifiers. For those 21 and older, we found that MMLs led to a relative increase in the probability of marijuana use of 16 percent, an increase in marijuana use frequency of 12-17 percent, and an increase in the probability of marijuana abuse/dependence of 15-27 percent. For those 12-20 years old, we found a relative increase in marijuana use initiation of 5-6 percent. Among tho...
 
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