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Identifying Industry Margins with Unobserved Price Constraints: Structural Estimation on Pharmaceuticals

Listed author(s):
  • Dubois, Pierre
  • Lasio, Laura

We provide a method allowing identification of margins in an oligopoly price competition game when prices may not be freely chosen in some markets, for example due to regulation. We use our identification strategy to study the effects of regulatory constraints in the pharmaceutical industry. We provide the first structural estimation of price-cost margins on a regulated market with price constraints and show how to identify unknown possibly binding constraints thanks to three different markets (US, Germany and France) with varying regulatory constraints. We use the market for anti-ulcer drugs to identify whether regulation in France truly affects margins and prices and relate regulatory reforms to industry pricing equilibrium. Empirical results show that firms were especially constrained in price setting after the different reforms in 2004. Counterfactual simulations show that total spending significantly increased because of the new price regulation by displacing part of the demand from generics to branded drugs.

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Paper provided by Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse in its series IDEI Working Papers with number 823.

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Date of creation: Feb 2014
Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:27918
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  1. Reynaert, Mathias & Verboven, Frank, 2014. "Improving the performance of random coefficients demand models: The role of optimal instruments," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 179(1), pages 83-98.
  2. Margaret K. Kyle, 2007. "Pharmaceutical Price Controls and Entry Strategies," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 88-99, February.
  3. Brekke, Kurt Richard & Holmås, Tor Helge & Straume, Odd Rune, 2013. "Margins and market shares: Pharmacy incentives for generic substitution," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 116-131.
  4. Rizzo, John A, 1999. "Advertising and Competition in the Ethical Pharmaceutical Industry: The Case of Antihypertensive Drugs," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(1), pages 89-116, April.
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