Rosalie Liccardo Pacula

Photo of 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 and co-director of the RAND Drug Policy Research 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. More recently her work has shifted to evaluating the impact of recent opioid policies in the US. She has explored the influence of buprenorphine diffusion, OxyContin reformulation, insurance expansion, medical marijuana and naloxone distribution laws on opioid related harm. She has also done work examining the size of the market for illicit opioids. 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

Visiting Scholar, Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics; Faculty Research Fellow, NBER

Recent Projects

  • Opioid Policy Tools and Information Center of Excellence
  • Colorado Opioid & Marijuana Project
  • Marijuana policy index
  • RAND Alcohol Policy Platform
  • Policies influencing naloxone distribution

Selected Publications

, "Supply-Side Drug Policy in the Presence of Substitutes: Evidence from the Introduction of Abuse-Deterrent Opioids," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy., 2018 (forthcoming)

, "Do Medical Marijuana Laws Reduce Addictions and Deaths Related to Pain Killers?" Journal of Health Economics, 2018 (forthcoming)

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), 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), 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), 2015

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 (RR-864), 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), 2015

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

Honors & Awards

  • President, International Society for the Study of Drug Policy, ISSDP Membership
  • Invited Member, NIDA Marijuana Policy Workgroup, Director Nora Volkow
  • •2015 Stanley Reiter Best Paper Award for paper with M Galenianos and N Persico (2012) “A Search-Theoretical Model of the Retail Market for Illicit Drugs.” Review of Economic Studies. 79(2): 1239-1269., Kellogg School of Management

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: ACLU documentary on drug testing in schools; Arkansas Democrat Gazette; Copley News Service; KCBS-AM; KPCC-FM Online; 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