Rosalie Liccardo Pacula

rosalie pacula, rosalie pacula
Director, Bing Center for Health Economics; Codirector, RAND Drug Policy Research Center; Senior Economist; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Santa Monica Office


Ph.D. in economics, Duke University; B.S. in political science, Santa Clara University

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email

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Rosalie Liccardo Pacula is a senior economist at the RAND Corporation and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. She serves as director of RAND's BING Center for Health Economics, co-director of the RAND Drug Policy Research Center, and associate director of the data core for RAND's new U19 AHRQ-funded Health Care Delivery Systems Center. Her research at RAND over the last 20 years has largely focused on issues related to illegal or imperfect markets (health care markets, insurance markets, illicit drug markets), measurement of the size of these markets, the impact they have on behavior (suppliers and consumers), and the effectiveness of policy interventions at targeting behavior within these markets. Currently, her funded projects include an evaluation of the impact of medical marijuana policies on the consumption of and public health harms associated with recreational marijuana, an examination of barriers to the diffusion of buprenorphine (an evidence-based pharmacotherapy for heroin addiction), an examination of the impacts of formulary management and benefit design strategies on prescription opioid misuse, an exploration of factors defining high performing health care systems, and the construction of an international microsimulation platform that can be used to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of alternative alcohol prevention and treatment strategies. Pacula has been a member of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) since 1997, serves on the editorial board of several journals, and is a scientific reviewer for the National Institutes of Health's HSOD committee. She received her Ph.D. in economics from Duke University.

Concurrent Non-RAND Positions

Faculty Research Fellow, NBER

Recent Projects

  • Marijuana policy reform (legalization and medical marijuana)
  • Impact of changes in insurance and covered benefits on behavioral health care service utilization and cost
  • Market and policy level factors influencing diffusion of buprenorphine
  • Examining prescription drug misuse in the military
  • Identifying core characteristics of high performing heath care systems

Selected Publications

Nicosia N, MacDonald J and RL Pacula, "Does Mandatory Diversion to Drug Treatment Eliminate Racial Disparities in the Incarceration of Drug Offenders?" Journal of Quantiative Criminology, 33(1):179-205, 2017

Stein BD, Sorbero M, Dick AW, Pacula RL, Burns RM, and AJ Gordon, "Underutilized physician capacity to treat opioid use disorder with buprenorphine opioid agonist medication assisted treatment," JAMA, 316(11):1211-1212, 2016

Pacula RL, Powell D, Heaton P and E Sevigny, "Assessing the Effects of Medical Marijuana Laws on Marijuana: The Devil is in the Details," Journal of Public Policy Analysis and Management, 34(1):7-31, 2015

Taylor E, Saltzman E, Bauhoff S, Pacula RL and C Eibner, "More Choice on the Exchanges May Reduce the Value of the Subsidies for Low-Income Enrollees," Health Affairs, 34(1):104-110, 2015

Hasin DS, Wall M, Keyes KM, Cerda M, Schulenberg J, O'Malley P, Galea S, Pacula RL, and T Feng, "State Medical Marijuana Laws and Adolescent Marijuana Use in the United States:1991-2012," The Lancet-Psychiatry, 2(7):601-608, 2015

Stein BD, Dick AW, Pacula RL, Gordon AJ, Burns RM, Leslie DL and M Sorbero, "Where is Buprenorphine Dispensed for Treating Opioid Use Disorders? The Role of Private Offices, Opioid Treatment Programs, and Substance Abuse Treatment Facilities in Urban and Rural," Milbank Quarterly, 93(3):561-583, 2015

Galenianos M, Pacula RL and Persico N, "A Search-Theoretic Model of the Retail Market for Illicit Drugs," Review of Economic Studies, 79:1239-1269, 2012

Caulkins JC, Kilmer B, Kleiman MAR, MacCoun RJ, Midgette G, Oglesby P, Pacula RL and PH Reuter, Considering Marijuana Legalization Insights for Vermont and Other Jurisdictions, RAND Corporation (RR-864), 2009

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: ACLU documentary on drug testing in schools; Arkansas Democrat Gazette; Copley News Service; KCBS-AM; The Lancet; Reuters


  • Nate Johnson, managing owner of the Queen Anne Cannabis Club in Seattle, Washington

    Legalising Cannabis Is More Than Just a Yes or No Decision

    Any truly honest discussion about how to regulate cannabis markets must start with clear objectives and goals. How these markets are opened can be as important as the decision to legalise cannabis.

    May 2, 2014 The Conversation

  • A group of teenagers drinking outdoors

    U.S. Needs to Improve Community-Based Drug, Alcohol Prevention

    As familiar as Americans are with the problems of youth drug and alcohol abuse, we are not identifying all the potential solutions. While observers criticize overemphasis in U.S. policy on enforcement and scant resources devoted to treatment, the focus on these approaches often ignores a key piece of the puzzle: prevention.

    Jan 31, 2014 The Orange County Register