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Market structure and communicable diseases

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  • Stéphane Mechoulan

Abstract

Communicable diseases pose a formidable challenge for public policy. Using numerical simulations, we show under which scenarios a monopolist's price and prevalence paths converge to a non-zero steady state. In contrast, a planner typically eradicates the disease. If eradication is impossible, the planner subsidizes treatments as long as the prevalence can be controlled. Drug resistance exacerbates the welfare difference between monopoly and first best outcomes. Nevertheless, because the negative externalities from resistance compete with the positive externalities of treatment, a mixed competition/monopoly regime may perform better than competition alone. This result has important implications for the design of many drug patents.

Suggested Citation

  • Stéphane Mechoulan, 2007. "Market structure and communicable diseases," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(2), pages 468-492, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:40:y:2007:i:2:p:468-492
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Eswaran, Mukesh & Gallini, Nancy, 2016. "Rescuing the Golden Age of Antibiotics: Can Economics Help Avert the Looming Crisis?," Economics working papers nancy_gallini-2016-9, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 04 Jul 2016.
    2. Herrmann, Markus & Nkuiya, Bruno & Dussault, Anne-Renée, 2013. "Innovation and antibiotic use within antibiotic classes: Market incentives and economic instruments," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 582-598.
    3. Herrmann, Markus, 2010. "Monopoly pricing of an antibiotic subject to bacterial resistance," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 137-150, January.
    4. Eswaran, Mukesh & Gallini, Nancy, 2017. "Can Competition Extend the Golden Age of Antibiotics?," Microeconomics.ca working papers -2017-9, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 19 Oct 2017.
    5. Na Hao & Gervan Fearon, 2009. "Government Funding Policy Towards Communicable Diseases," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 37(2), pages 121-134, June.
    6. Bialek, Sylwia, 2016. "Introducing Cattle Producer to the Hardin s World- Can Monopolies in Seed Markets Be Welfare Enhancing?," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145786, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • L12 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies

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