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The Economic impacts of the tobacco settlement

Author

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  • David M. Cutler

    (Department of Economics, Harvard University)

  • Jonathan Gruber

    (Department of Economics, MIT)

  • Raymond S. Hartman

    (Lexecon, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts)

  • Mary Beth Landrum

    (Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School)

  • Joseph P. Newhouse
  • Meredith B. Rosenthal

    (Department of Health Policy and Management, Harvard School of Public Health)

Abstract

Recent litigation against the major tobacco companies culminated in a master settlement agreement (MSA) under which the participating companies agreed to compensate most states for Medicaid expenses. Here the terms of the settlement are outlined and its economic implications analyzed using data from Massachusetts. The financial compensation to Massachusetts (and other states) under the MSA is substantial. However, this compensation is dwarfed by the value of the health impacts induced by the settlement. Specifically, Medicaid spending will fall, but only by a modest amount. More importantly, the value of health benefits ($65 billion through 2025 in 1999 dollars) from increased longevity is an order of magnitude greater than any other impacts or payments. The net efficiency implications of the settlement turn mainly on a comparison of the value of these health benefits relative to a valuation of the foregone pleasure of smoking. To the extent that the value of the health benefits is not offset by the value of the pleasure foregone, the economic impacts of the MSA will include a share of these health benefits. © 2002 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.

Suggested Citation

  • David M. Cutler & Jonathan Gruber & Raymond S. Hartman & Mary Beth Landrum & Joseph P. Newhouse & Meredith B. Rosenthal, 2002. "The Economic impacts of the tobacco settlement," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(1), pages 1-19.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:21:y:2002:i:1:p:1-19
    DOI: 10.1002/pam.1037
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jonathan Gruber, 2001. "Tobacco at the Crossroads: The Past and Future of Smoking Regulation in the United States," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 193-212, Spring.
    2. David Cutler & Jonathan Gruber, 2001. "Health Policy in the Clinton Era: Once Bitten, Twice Shy," NBER Working Papers 8455, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Cutler, David M. & Lleras-Muney, Adriana, 2010. "Understanding differences in health behaviors by education," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-28, January.
    4. Sloan, Frank A. & Trogdon, Justin G. & Mathews, Carrie A., 2005. "Litigation and the value of tobacco companies," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 427-447, May.
    5. Jeffrey D. Kubik & John R. Moran, 2001. "Can Policy Changes Be Treated as Natural Experiments? Evidence from State Excise Taxes," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 39, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
    6. Ciliberto Federico & Kuminoff Nicolai V, 2010. "Public Policy and Market Competition: How the Master Settlement Agreement Changed the Cigarette Industry," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-46, July.
    7. MacDonald, James M. & Perry, Janet E. & Ahearn, Mary Clare & Banker, David E. & Chambers, William & Dimitri, Carolyn & Key, Nigel D. & Nelson, Kenneth E. & Southard, Leland W., 2004. "Contracts, Markets, and Prices: Organizing the Production and Use of Agricultural Commodities," Agricultural Economics Reports 34013, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    8. Helen Levy & Edward C. Norton & Jeffrey A. Smith, 2016. "Tobacco Regulation and Cost-Benefit Analysis: How Should We Value Foregone Consumer Surplus?," NBER Working Papers 22471, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Cutler, David M & Epstein, Arnold M. & Frank, Richard G. & Hartman, Raymond & King, Charles III & Newhouse, Joseph P. & Rosenthal, Meredith B. & Vigdor, Elizabeth Richardson, 2000. "How Good a Deal Was the Tobacco Settlement? Assessing Payments to Massachusetts," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 21(2-3), pages 235-261, November.
    10. Goel, Rajeev K. & Nelson, Michael A., 2007. "The Master Settlement Agreement and cigarette tax policy," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 431-438.
    11. W. Kip Viscusi & Joni Hersch, 2010. "Tobacco Regulation through Litigation: The Master Settlement Agreement," NBER Chapters,in: Regulation vs. Litigation: Perspectives from Economics and Law, pages 71-101 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Henrik Hammar & Olof Johansson-Stenman, 2004. "The value of risk-free cigarettes - do smokers underestimate the risk?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(1), pages 59-71.
    13. Levy, Douglas E. & Meara, Ellen, 2006. "The effect of the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement on prenatal smoking," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 276-294, March.
    14. Gabriel A. Picone & Frank Sloan & Justin G. Trogdon, 2004. "The effect of the tobacco settlement and smoking bans on alcohol consumption," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(10), pages 1063-1080.
    15. Brachet, Tanguy, 2008. "Maternal Smoking, Misclassification, and Infant Health," MPRA Paper 21466, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Stuart Fowler & William Ford, 2004. "Has a quarter-trillion-dollar settlement helped the tobacco industry?," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 28(3), pages 430-444, September.
    17. Jonathan Gruber, 2001. "Youth Smoking in the 1990's: Why Did It Rise and What Are the Long-Run Implications?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 85-90, May.
    18. David Bell & Alasdair Rutherford, 2012. "Long-Term Care and the Housing Market," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 59(5), pages 543-563, November.
    19. Jonathan Gruber, 2000. "Youth Smoking in the U.S.: Prices and Policies," NBER Working Papers 7506, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. repec:spr:ijphth:v:62:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s00038-017-0943-z is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Douglas E. Levy & Ellen Meara, 2005. "The Effect of the 1998 Master Settlement on Prenatal Smoking," NBER Working Papers 11176, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Barnett, W.S. & Masse, Leonard N., 2007. "Comparative benefit-cost analysis of the Abecedarian program and its policy implications," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 113-125, February.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • K0 - Law and Economics - - General

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