Good policymaking depends on reliable evaluations of state-level policies. But reliable evaluations face multiple barriers, including whether statistical models can disentangle the effects of concurrently implemented policies.
To test the performance of commonly used models, the authors conducted simulations using outcome data (annual opioid mortality rate per 100,000 residents, by state) obtained from the National Vital Statistics System Multiple Cause of Death mortality files, from 1999 to 2016, for all 50 states. The authors modified the outcome data by adding the hypothetical effect of two co-occurring policies and examined how effective the models were at estimating the policy effects over a range of simulation parameters, such as the effect sizes of the policies and the length of time between their enactment dates.
This tool allows users to select from a range of simulation parameters to explore how different models perform and compare models by various performance metrics.
This research was sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and conducted by RAND Health Care.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Tool series. RAND tools may include models, databases, calculators, computer code, GIS mapping tools, practitioner guidelines, web applications, and various toolkits. All RAND tools undergo rigorous peer review to ensure both high data standards and appropriate methodology in keeping with RAND's commitment to quality and objectivity.
Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/research-integrity.
This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.