The Economic Impacts of the Tobacco Settlement
29 Pages Posted: 18 Jul 2000 Last revised: 16 Sep 2021
Date Written: June 2000
Recent litigation against major tobacco companies culminated in a Master Settlement Agreement' (MSA) under which the participating companies agreed to compensate most states for Medicaid expenses. We outline the terms of the settlement and analyze whether it was a move toward economic efficiency using data from Massachusetts. Medicaid spending will fall, but only a modest amount ($0.1 billion). The efficiency issue turns mainly on the treatment of health benefits from reduced smoking induced by the settlement. We conclude that the settlement was a move towards economic efficiency.
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