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The Impact of State Medical Marijuana Laws on Social Security Disability Insurance and Workers' Compensation Benefit Claiming

58 Pages Posted: 25 Sep 2017  

Catherine Maclean

Temple University

Keshar M. Ghimire

University of Cincinnati - Blue Ash

Lauren Hersch Nicholas

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Date Written: September 2017

Abstract

We study the effect of state medical marijuana laws (MMLs) on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Workers' Compensation (WC) claiming. We use data on benefit claiming drawn from the 1990 to 2013 Current Population Survey coupled with a differences-in-differences design. We find that passage of an MML increases SSDI, but not WC, claiming on both the intensive and extensive margins. Post-MML the propensity to claim SSDI increases by 0.27 percentage points (9.9%) and SSDI benefits increase by 2.6%. We identify heterogeneity by age and the manner in which states regulate medical marijuana. Our findings suggest an unintended consequence of MMLs: increased reliance on costly social insurance programs among working age adults.

Suggested Citation

Maclean, Catherine and Ghimire, Keshar M. and Nicholas, Lauren Hersch, The Impact of State Medical Marijuana Laws on Social Security Disability Insurance and Workers' Compensation Benefit Claiming (September 2017). NBER Working Paper No. w23862. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3042418

Catherine Maclean (Contact Author)

Temple University ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States

Keshar Ghimire

University of Cincinnati - Blue Ash ( email )

Cincinnati, OH 45221-0389
United States

Lauren Hersch Nicholas

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health ( email )

615 North Wolfe Street
Baltimore, MD 21205
United States

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