IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Can Credence Advertising Effects Be Isolated? Can They Be Negative?: Evidence from Pharmaceuticals


  • W. David Bradford

    () (Department of Public Administration and Policy, 201C Baldwin Hall, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA)

  • Andrew N. Kleit

    () (Department of Meteorology and Center for Health Care Policy, 213 Hosler Building, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA)


We explore the relative impact of informative versus the credence effects of direct-to-consumer advertising in the market for prescription drugs. In particular, we examine how advertising for statin medications affects the delay between diagnosis and pharmacological treatment for patients with elevated cholesterol, as well as the time between treatment initiation and therapy switching. Duration models of delay to treatment indicate that over some ranges, advertising increases the likelihood of treatment, while over other ranges greater advertising is associated with lower likelihood of treatment. Results for the switching behavior models indicate that on net, advertising tends to both discourage switching between drugs and encourage therapy continuation. However, the component of the advertising that represents credence effects is generally positive, which indicates that as patients' spell of drug usage lengthens, the Food and Drug Administration–required warnings in advertisements induce consumers to switch away from the pharmaceuticals they are using.

Suggested Citation

  • W. David Bradford & Andrew N. Kleit, 2011. "Can Credence Advertising Effects Be Isolated? Can They Be Negative?: Evidence from Pharmaceuticals," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 167-190, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:78:1:y:2011:p:167-190

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. De Long, J Bradford, et al, 1990. " Positive Feedback Investment Strategies and Destabilizing Rational Speculation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(2), pages 379-395, June.
    2. Lei, Vivian & Noussair, Charles N & Plott, Charles R, 2001. "Nonspeculative Bubbles in Experimental Asset Markets: Lack of Common Knowledge of Rationality vs. Actual Irrationality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(4), pages 831-859, July.
    3. Martin Dufwenberg & Tobias Lindqvist & Evan Moore, 2005. "Bubbles and Experience: An Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1731-1737, December.
    4. Jason Childs & Stuart Mestelman, 2006. "Rate-of-return Parity in Experimental Asset Markets," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(3), pages 331-347, August.
    5. Kirchler, Erich & Maciejovsky, Boris, 2002. "Simultaneous Over- and Underconfidence: Evidence from Experimental Asset Markets," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 65-85, July.
    6. Bruno Biais & Denis Hilton & Karine Mazurier & Sébastien Pouget, 2005. "Judgemental Overconfidence, Self-Monitoring, and Trading Performance in an Experimental Financial Market," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(2), pages 287-312.
    7. Oechssler, Jörg & Schmidt, Carsten & Schnedler, Wendelin, 2007. "Asset bubbles without dividends : an experiment," Papers 07-01, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.
    8. Benos, Alexandros V., 1998. "Aggressiveness and survival of overconfident traders," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 1(3-4), pages 353-383, September.
    9. Fiedler, Marina & Haruvy, Ernan, 2009. "The lab versus the virtual lab and virtual field--An experimental investigation of trust games with communication," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 716-724, November.
    10. Ernan Haruvy & Charles N. Noussair, 2006. "The Effect of Short Selling on Bubbles and Crashes in Experimental Spot Asset Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(3), pages 1119-1157, June.
    11. Ernan Haruvy & Yaron Lahav & Charles N. Noussair, 2007. "Traders' Expectations in Asset Markets: Experimental Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1901-1920, December.
    12. Smith, Vernon L & Suchanek, Gerry L & Williams, Arlington W, 1988. "Bubbles, Crashes, and Endogenous Expectations in Experimental Spot Asset Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1119-1151, September.
    13. Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
    14. Jose A. Scheinkman & Wei Xiong, 2003. "Overconfidence and Speculative Bubbles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(6), pages 1183-1219, December.
    15. McSweeney, Brendan, 2009. "The roles of financial asset market failure denial and the economic crisis: Reflections on accounting and financial theories and practices," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 34(6-7), pages 835-848, August.
    16. John A. Doukas & Dimitris Petmezas, 2007. "Acquisitions, Overconfident Managers and Self-attribution Bias," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 13(3), pages 531-577.
    17. Terrance Odean, 1999. "Do Investors Trade Too Much?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1279-1298, December.
    18. Gerhard van de Venter & David Michayluk, 2008. "An Insight into Overconfidence in the Forecasting Abilities of Financial Advisors," Australian Journal of Management, Australian School of Business, vol. 32(3), pages 545-557, March.
    19. Van Boening, Mark V. & Williams, Arlington W. & LaMaster, Shawn, 1993. "Price bubbles and crashes in experimental call markets," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 179-185.
    20. Reshmaan N. Hussam & David Porter & Vernon L. Smith, 2008. "Thar She Blows: Can Bubbles Be Rekindled with Experienced Subjects?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 924-937, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:jhecon:v:55:y:2017:i:c:p:30-44 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:78:1:y:2011:p:167-190. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Laura Razzolini). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.