The B.E. journal of economic analysis & policy, 2021-01-22, Vol.21 (2), p.751-792
In response to the opioid crisis, US states have implemented policies to reduce the dispensing of opioids and curb drug mortality. Exploiting a long panel of county-level data, we analyse the combination of demand- and supply-side state opioid policies and evaluate their effect on opioids per capita dispensed and their unintended fallouts on drug-related crime. We demonstrate that only laws targeting the supply for opioids reduce the volume of prescribed drugs, while demand-side policies are less effective. We also emphasize that within supply-side state regulations, Pain Management Clinics Laws are the most successful in reducing the dispensation of prescription opioids. Remarkably, the drop in opioids distributed due to supply-side regulations is accompanied by negative externalities in the local market for illicit drugs.
crime ; drugs ; I18 ; K32 ; opioid laws ; prescription opioids
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