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Alchian and Allen Revisited: Law Enforcement and the Price of Weed

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  • Robert Lawson
  • Todd Nesbit

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Abstract

Alchian and Allen ( 1964 ) theorized that the imposition of a fixed fee or a unit cost in a market with multiple quality grades of the good would encourage consumption of the higher quality grades. Using newly available data on marijuana prices by state, we empirically test the hypothesis that the price of higher quality marijuana will be higher in states with more strict enforcement of marijuana possession laws. Consistent with the Alchian-Allen theorem, the relative price of both medium- and high-quality marijuana are found to be greater in states with stricter law enforcement, suggesting an increase in demand for such varieties. Copyright International Atlantic Economic Society 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Lawson & Todd Nesbit, 2013. "Alchian and Allen Revisited: Law Enforcement and the Price of Weed," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 41(4), pages 363-370, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:atlecj:v:41:y:2013:i:4:p:363-370
    DOI: 10.1007/s11293-013-9392-0
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Beth A. Freeborn, 2009. "Arrest Avoidance: Law Enforcement and the Price of Cocaine," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(1), pages 19-40, February.
    2. Donald J. Lacombe & Timothy M. Shaughnessy, 2007. "Accounting for Spatial Error Correlation in the 2004 Presidential Popular Vote," Public Finance Review, , vol. 35(4), pages 480-499, July.
    3. Sobel, Russell S & Garrett, Thomas A, 1997. "Taxation and Product Quality: New Evidence from Generic Cigarettes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(4), pages 880-887, August.
    4. Barzel, Yoram, 1976. "An Alternative Approach to the Analysis of Taxation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(6), pages 1177-1197, December.
    5. Joshua C. Hall & Justin M. Ross, 2010. "Tiebout Competition, Yardstick Competition, and Tax Instrument Choice: Evidence from Ohio School Districts," Public Finance Review, , vol. 38(6), pages 710-737, November.
    6. Bertonazzi, Eric P & Maloney, Michael T & McCormick, Robert E, 1993. "Some Evidence on the Alchian and Allen Theorem: The Third Law of Demand?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(3), pages 383-393, July.
    7. Borcherding, Thomas E & Silberberg, Eugene, 1978. "Shipping the Good Apples Out: The Alchian and Allen Theorem Reconsidered," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(1), pages 131-138, February.
    8. J. Barkley Rosser, 2009. "Introduction," Chapters,in: Handbook of Research on Complexity, chapter 1 Edward Elgar Publishing.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Alchian-Allen Theorem; Marijuana; D12; H73; I18;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • H73 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Interjurisdictional Differentials and Their Effects
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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