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Subsidizing Addiction: Do State Health Insurance Mandates Increase Alcohol Consumption?

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  • Jonathan Klick
  • Thomas Stratmann

Abstract

A model of addiction in which individuals are forward looking implies that as the availability of addiction treatment options grows, individuals will consume more of an addictive good. We test this implication using cross-state variation in the adoption of mental health parity mandates that include substance abuse treatments. We examine the effects of these mandates on the consumption of alcohol and find that parity legislation leads to an increase in alcohol consumption. To account for the possible endogeneity of the adoption of mental health parity mandates, we perform an instrumental variables analysis and find that the ordinary least squares estimation significantly underestimates the insurance effect on alcohol consumption.

Suggested Citation

  • Jonathan Klick & Thomas Stratmann, 2006. "Subsidizing Addiction: Do State Health Insurance Mandates Increase Alcohol Consumption?," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(1), pages 175-198, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlstud:v:35:y:2006:p:175-198
    DOI: 10.1086/498830
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Cseh Attila, 2008. "Labor Market Consequences of State Mental Health Parity Mandates," Forum for Health Economics & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(2), pages 1-34, April.
    2. Johanna Catherine Maclean & Brendan Saloner, 2019. "The Effect of Public Insurance Expansions on Substance Use Disorder Treatment: Evidence from the Affordable Care Act," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 38(2), pages 366-393, March.
    3. Johanna Catherine Maclean & Michael F. Pesko & Steven C. Hill, 2017. "The Effect of Insurance Expansions on Smoking Cessation Medication Prescriptions: Evidence from ACA Medicaid Expansions," NBER Working Papers 23450, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Botkins, Elizabeth Robison, 2015. "Does Health Insurance Encourage Obesity? A Moral Hazard Study," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 206228, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    5. Yaa Akosa Antwi & Johanna Catherine Maclean, 2017. "State Health Insurance Mandates and Labor Market Outcomes: New Evidence on Old Questions," NBER Working Papers 23203, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Thomas Stratmann, 2007. "Mandatory and affordable health insurance: commentary," Regional Economic Development, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Oct, pages 29-31.
    7. Popovici, Ioana & Maclean, J. Catherine & French, Michael, 2017. "The Effects of Health Insurance Parity Laws for Substance Use Disorder Treatment on Traffic Fatalities: Evidence of Unintended Benefits," IZA Discussion Papers 10746, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Jonathan Klick & Thomas Stratmann, 2007. "Diabetes Treatments and Moral Hazard," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50, pages 519-538.
    9. Ioana Popovici & Johanna Catherine Maclean & Michael T. French, 2017. "Health Insurance and Traffic Fatalities: The Effects of Substance Use Disorder Parity Laws," NBER Working Papers 23388, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. David Gilo & Ehud Guttel & Erez Yuval, 2013. "Negligence, Strict Liability, and Collective Action," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(1), pages 69-82.

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