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Helping Settle the Marijuana and Alcohol Debate: Evidence from Scanner Data

32 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2017 Last revised: 12 Dec 2017

Michele Baggio

University of Connecticut

Alberto Chong

Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Department of Economics; Institute for Corruption Studies

Sungoh Kwon

University of Connecticut

Date Written: December 11, 2017

Abstract

We use data on purchases of alcoholic beverages in grocery, convenience, drug, or mass distribution stores in US counties for 2006-2015 to study the link between medical marijuana laws and alcohol consumption and focus on settling the debate between the substitutability or complementarity between marijuana and alcohol. To do this we exploit the differences in the timing of the of marijuana laws among states and find that these two substances are substitutes. Counties located in MML states reduced monthly alcohol sales by 13 percent. Our findings are robust to border counties analysis, a placebo effective dates for MMLs in the treated states, and falsification tests using sales of pens and pencils.

Suggested Citation

Baggio, Michele and Chong, Alberto and Kwon, Sungoh, Helping Settle the Marijuana and Alcohol Debate: Evidence from Scanner Data (December 11, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3063288

Michele Baggio (Contact Author)

University of Connecticut ( email )

Storrs, CT 06269-1063
United States

Alberto Chong

Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 3992
Atlanta, GA 30302-3992
United States

Institute for Corruption Studies

Stevenson Hall 425
Normal, IL 61790-4200
United States

Sungoh Kwon

University of Connecticut ( email )

Storrs, CT 06269-1063
United States

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