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Insurance and Incentives for Medical Innovation

  • Garber Alan M

    ()

    (Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Stanford University, and NBER)

  • Jones Charles I.

    ()

    (University of California, Berkeley and NBER)

  • Romer Paul

    ()

    (Stanford University and NBER)

This paper studies the interactions between health insurance and the incentives for innovation. Although we focus on pharmaceutical innovation, our discussion applies to other industries producing novel technologies for sale in markets with subsidized demand. Standard results in the growth and productivity literatures suggest that firms in many industries may possess inadequate incentives to innovate. Standard results in the health literature suggest that health insurance leads to the overutilization of health care. Our study of innovation in the pharmaceutical industry emphasizes the interaction of these incentives. Because of the large subsidies to demand from health insurance, limits on the lifetime of patents and possibly limits on monopoly pricing may be necessary to ensure that pharmaceutical companies do not possess excess incentives for innovation.

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File URL: http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/fhep.2006.biomedical_research.1/fhep.2006.biomedicalresearch.1.1006/fhep.2006.biomedicalresearch.1.1006.xml?format=INT
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Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal Forum for Health Economics & Policy.

Volume (Year): 9 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 1-27

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:fhecpo:v:biomedical_research:y:2006:n:4
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  1. Emmanuel Saez, 2000. "Using Elasticities to Derive Optimal Income Tax Rates," NBER Working Papers 7628, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Darius Lakdawalla & Neeraj Sood, 2005. "Insurance and Innovation in Health Care Markets," NBER Working Papers 11602, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Philipson Tomas J & Jena Anupam B, 2006. "Who Benefits from New Medical Technologies? Estimates of Consumer and Producer Surpluses for HIV/AIDS Drugs," Forum for Health Economics & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 9(2), pages 1-33, January.
  4. Martin Gaynor & Deborah Haas-Wilson & William B. Vogt, 2000. "Are Invisible Hands Good Hands? Moral Hazard, Competition, and the Second-Best in Health Care Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(5), pages 992-1005, October.
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