Panel Paper: Concentrated Burdens: How Funding and Implementation Shape Opinion on Opioid Treatment Policy

Saturday, November 10, 2018
Madison A - Mezz Level (Marriott Wardman Park)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Michael Hankinson, Oberlin College and Justin de Benedictis-Kessner, Harvard University

The rising number of opioid overdoses in the U.S. constitutes a public health emergency, yet policymakers have struggled to adequately respond. We assess two reasons why the politics of opioid treatment policy prevent them from doing so. Using two experiments conducted on a nationally representative survey sample, we show that the design of opioid-related policies shapes public opinion on this issue. Both the specics of the funding burden and the spatial burden inherent in these policies sway people's support for them. While redistributive design of policies to confront the opioid crisis may receive widespread political support, opposition due to spatial proximity at the local level can stand in the way of implementing these policies. These results highlight how policy design at all stages of the policy process can structure public opinion.

Full Paper: