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Demand Shocks, Procurement Policies, and the Nature of Medical Innovation: Evidence from Wartime Prosthetic Device Patents

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  • Jeffrey P. Clemens
  • Parker Rogers

Abstract

We analyze wartime prosthetic device patents to investigate how demand and procurement policy can shape medical innovation. We use machine learning tools to develop new data describing the aspects of medical and mechanical innovations that are emphasized in patent documents. Our analysis of historical patents yields three primary facts. First, we find that the U.S. Civil War and World War I led to substantial increases in the quantity of prosthetic device patenting relative to patenting in other medical and mechanical technology classes. Second, we find that the Civil War led inventors to focus broadly on improving aspects of the production process, while World War I did not, consistent with the United States applying a more cost-conscious procurement model during the Civil War. Third, we find that inventors emphasized dimensions of product quality (e.g., a prosthetic’s appearance or comfort) that aligned with differences in buyers’ preferences, as described in the historical record, across wars. We conclude that procurement environments can significantly shape the scientific problems with which inventors engage, including the choice to innovate on quality or cost.

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  • Jeffrey P. Clemens & Parker Rogers, 2020. "Demand Shocks, Procurement Policies, and the Nature of Medical Innovation: Evidence from Wartime Prosthetic Device Patents," CESifo Working Paper Series 8781, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_8781
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    7. Yeon-Koo Che & Elisabetta Iossa & Patrick Rey, 2021. "Prizes versus Contracts as Incentives for Innovation [Subgame Perfect Implementation Under Information Perturbations]," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 88(5), pages 2149-2178.
    8. Francesco Decarolis & Gaétan de Rassenfosse & Leonardo M. Giuffrida & Elisabetta Iossa & Vincenzo Mollisi & Emilio Raiteri & Giancarlo Spagnolo, 2021. "Buyers' role in innovation procurement: Evidence from US military R&D contracts," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(4), pages 697-720, November.
    9. Jeffrey P. Clemens & Morten Olsen, 2021. "Medicare and the Rise of American Medical Patenting: The Economics of User-Driven Innovation," CESifo Working Paper Series 9008, CESifo.
    10. Gamba, Simona & Magazzini, Laura & Pertile, Paolo, 2021. "R&D and market size: Who benefits from orphan drug legislation?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(C).
    11. Dupraz, Yannick & Ferrara, Andreas, 2021. "Fatherless: The Long-Term Effects of Losing a Father in the U.S. Civil War," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 538, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    12. Agarwal, Ruchir & Gaule, Patrick, 2022. "What drives innovation? Lessons from COVID-19 R&D," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(C).
    13. Brehm, Johannes & aus dem Moore, Nils & Gruhl, Henri, 2022. "Driving Innovation? – Carbon Tax Effects in the Swedish Transport Sector," VfS Annual Conference 2022 (Basel): Big Data in Economics 264085, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    14. Chiappinelli, Olga & Giuffrida, Leonardo M. & Spagnolo, Giancarlo, 2023. "Public procurement as an innovation policy: Where do we stand?," ZEW Discussion Papers 23-002, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    15. Leila Agha & Soomi Kim & Danielle Li, 2020. "Insurance Design and Pharmaceutical Innovation," NBER Working Papers 27563, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Berkes, Enrico & Coluccia, Davide M. & Dossi, Gaia Greta & Squicciarini, Mara P., 2023. "Dealing with adversity: religiosity or science? Evidence from the great influenza pandemic," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 121318, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    17. Enrico Berkes & Davide M. Coluccia & Gaia Dossi & Mara P. Squicciarini, 2023. "Dealing with adversity: Religiosity or science? Evidence from the great influenza pandemic," POID Working Papers 068, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    18. Rogers, Parker, 2022. "Regulating the Innovators: Approval Costs and Innovation in Medical Technologies," SocArXiv c8s3m, Center for Open Science.
    19. Enrico Berkes & Davide M. Coluccia & Gaia Dossi & Mara P. Squicciarini, 2023. "Dealing with adversity: religiosity or science? Evidence from the great influenza pandemic," CEP Discussion Papers dp1927, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    procurement; medical innovation; health care; health economics;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H57 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Procurement
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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