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Tobacco Regulation through Litigation: The Master Settlement Agreement

  • W. Kip Viscusi
  • Joni Hersch

The 1998 Master Settlement Agreement resolved the unprecedented litigation in which the states sought to recoup the cigarette-related Medicaid costs. The litigation was settled through a combination of negotiated regulatory requirements and financial payments of about $250 billion over 25 years. Settlement payments received by states are strongly related to smoking-related medical costs but are also related to political factors. The payments largely took the form of an excise tax equivalent, raising potential antitrust concerns. The regulatory restrictions imposed by the agreement also raised antitrust concerns. However, there has been no evident shift in industry concentration. The increase in advertising and marketing expenses has largely taken the form of price discounts. The settlement sidestepped the usual procedures pertaining to the imposition of taxes and the promulgation of new regulations.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w15422.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15422.

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Date of creation: Oct 2009
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Publication status: published as Tobacco Regulation through Litigation: The Master Settlement Agreement , W. Kip Viscusi, Joni Hersch. in Regulation vs. Litigation: Perspectives from Economics and Law , Kessler. 2011
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15422
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  1. Frank A. Sloan & Justin G. Trogdon, 2004. "The impact of the master settlement agreement on cigarette consumption," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(4), pages 843-855.
  2. Justin G. Trogdon & Frank A. Sloan, 2006. "Cigarette Taxes and the Master Settlement Agreement," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 44(4), pages 729-739, October.
  3. 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.
  4. Viscusi, W Kip, 1999. "The Governmental Composition of the Insurance Costs of Smoking," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(2), pages 575-609, October.
  5. Farrelly, Matthew C. & Pechacek, Terry F. & Chaloupka, Frank J., 2003. "The impact of tobacco control program expenditures on aggregate cigarette sales: 1981-2000," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 843-859, September.
  6. Cutler, David M, et al, 2000. " How Good a Deal Was the Tobacco Settlement? Assessing Payments to Massachusetts," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 21(2-3), pages 235-61, November.
  7. Michael L. Marlow, 2007. "Do Tobacco-Control Programs Lower Tobacco Consumption?," Public Finance Review, , vol. 35(6), pages 689-709, November.
  8. Viscusi, W. Kip & Hersch, Joni, 2008. "The mortality cost to smokers," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 943-958, July.
  9. Hersch, Joni, 2000. " Gender, Income Levels, and the Demand for Cigarettes," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 21(2-3), pages 263-82, November.
  10. W. Kip Viscusi, 1994. "Cigarette Taxation and the Social Consequences of Smoking," NBER Working Papers 4891, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. David M. Cutler & Jonathan Gruber & Raymond S. Hartman & M.B. Landrum, J. Newhouse & Meredith B. Rosenthal, 2000. "The Economic Impacts of the Tobacco Settlement," NBER Working Papers 7760, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Joni Hersch & Alison F. Del Rossi & W. Kip Viscusi, 2004. "Voter Preferences and State Regulation of Smoking," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 42(3), pages 455-468, July.
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