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Did Medicare Induce Pharmaceutical Innovation?

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  • Acemoglu, Daron
  • Finkelstein, Amy
  • Cutler, David
  • Linn, Joshua

Abstract

The introduction of Medicare in 1965 was the single largest change in health insurance coverage in U.S. history. Many economists and commentators have conjectured that the introduction of Medicare may have also been an important impetus for the development of new drugs that are now commonly used by the elderly and have substantially extended their life expectancy. In this paper, we investigate whether Medicare induced pharmaceutical innovations directed towards the elderly. Medicare could have played such a role only if two conditions were met. First, Medicare would have to increase drug spending by the elderly. Second, the pharmaceutical companies would have to respond to the change in market size for drugs caused by Medicare by changing the direction of their research. Our empirical work finds no evidence of a "first-stage" effect of Medicare on prescription drug expenditure by the elderly. Correspondingly, we also find no evidence of a shift in pharmaceutical innovation towards therapeutic categories most used by the elderly. On the whole, therefore, our evidence does not provide support for the hypothesis that Medicare had a major effect on the direction of pharmaceutical innovation.

Suggested Citation

  • Acemoglu, Daron & Finkelstein, Amy & Cutler, David & Linn, Joshua, 2006. "Did Medicare Induce Pharmaceutical Innovation?," Scholarly Articles 2664267, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:2664267
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

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    2. Aribah Aslam & Amjad Naveed & Ghulam Shabbir, 0. "Is it an institution, digital or social inclusion that matters for inclusive growth? A panel data analysis," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-23.
    3. Daron Acemoglu & David Cutler & Amy Finkelstein & Joshua Linn, 2006. "Did Medicare Induce Pharmaceutical Innovation?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 103-107, May.
    4. Freedman, Seth & Lin, Haizhen & Simon, Kosali, 2015. "Public health insurance expansions and hospital technology adoption," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 117-131.
    5. Amitabh Chandra & Jonathan S. Skinner, 2011. "Technology Growth and Expenditure Growth in Health Care," NBER Working Papers 16953, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Clayton, Denise Hammock, 2019. "The Effect of Prescription Drug Coverage on Mortality: Evidence from Medicaid Implementation," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 100-113.
    7. Mark Duggan & Fiona Scott Morton, 2010. "The Effect of Medicare Part D on Pharmaceutical Prices and Utilization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 590-607, March.
    8. Beerli, Andreas & Weiss, Franziska J. & Zilibotti, Fabrizio & Zweimüller, Josef, 2020. "Demand forces of technical change evidence from the Chinese manufacturing industry," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 60(C).
    9. Maryaline Catillon & David Cutler & Thomas Getzen, 2018. "Two Hundred Years of Health and Medical Care: The Importance of Medical Care for Life Expectancy Gains," NBER Working Papers 25330, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Moshe Levy & Adi Rizansky, 2014. "Market failure in the pharmaceutical industry and how it can be overcome: the CureShare mechanism," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 15(2), pages 143-156, March.
    11. Fabrizio, Kira R. & Poczter, Sharon & Zelner, Bennet A., 2017. "Does innovation policy attract international competition? Evidence from energy storage," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(6), pages 1106-1117.
    12. Lakdawalla, Darius & Malani, Anup & Reif, Julian, 2017. "The insurance value of medical innovation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 94-102.
    13. Nawaz, Saima, 2015. "Growth effects of institutions: A disaggregated analysis," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 118-126.
    14. Saima Nawaz & M. Idrees Khawaja, 2016. "Fiscal Policy, Institutions And Growth: New Insights," The Singapore Economic Review (SER), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 64(05), pages 1251-1278, December.
    15. Aribah Aslam & Amjad Naveed & Ghulam Shabbir, 2021. "Is it an institution, digital or social inclusion that matters for inclusive growth? A panel data analysis," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 55(1), pages 333-355, February.
    16. Aribah Aslam, 2020. "The hotly debate of human capital and economic growth: why institutions may matter?," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 54(4), pages 1351-1362, August.
    17. Leila Agha & Soomi Kim & Danielle Li, 2020. "Insurance Design and Pharmaceutical Innovation," NBER Working Papers 27563, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Nawaz, Saima, 2011. "The Institutions-Growth Nexus: Stages of Development," MPRA Paper 36961, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Wang, Qing & Lin, Mengyun, 2019. "Work-family policy and female entrepreneurship: Evidence from China's subsidized child care program," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 256-270.
    20. Saima Nawaz & Nasir Iqbal & Muhammad Arshad Khan, 2014. "The Impact of Institutional Quality on Economic Growth: Panel Evidence," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 53(1), pages 15-31.
    21. Werfel, Seth H. & Jaffe, Adam B., 2013. "Induced innovation and technology trajectory: Evidence from smoking cessation products," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 15-22.
    22. Lei Ji, 2013. "Rethinking directed technical change with endogenous market structure," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2013-18, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
    23. Iftikhar Ahmad & Muhammad Zeeshan Arif & Mahmood Khalid, 2016. "From Fiscal Decentralisation to Economic Growth: The Role of Complementary Institutions," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 55(4), pages 761-780.
    24. Mohammad Sharif Karimi & Elham Heshmati Daiari, 2018. "Does Institutions Matter for Economic Development? Evidence for ASEAN Selected Countries," Iranian Economic Review (IER), Faculty of Economics,University of Tehran.Tehran,Iran, vol. 22(1), pages 1-20, Winter.
    25. Zhang, Xuan & Nie, Huihua, 2021. "Public health insurance and pharmaceutical innovation: Evidence from China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 148(C).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy
    • L65 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Chemicals; Rubber; Drugs; Biotechnology; Plastics

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