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Assessing the impact of antibiotic policies in Europe


  • Massimo Filippini

    (Department of Economics, University of Lugano; ETH, Zurich, Switzerland)

  • Laura G. González Ortiz

    (Department of Economics, University of Lugano, Switzerland)

  • Giuliano Masiero

    () (Department of Economics and Technology Management, University of Bergamo, Italy; Department of Econonomics, University of Lugano, Switzerland)


Because of evidence of causal association between antibiotic use and bacterial resistance, the implementation of national policies has emerged as a interesting tool for controlling and reversing bacterial resistance. The aim of this study is to assess the impact of public policies on antibiotic use in Europe using a differences-in-differences approach. Comparable data on systemic administered antibiotics in 21 European countries are available for a 11-years panel between 1997 and 2007. Data on national campaigns are drawn from the public health literature. We estimate an econometric model of antibiotic consumption with country fixed effects and control for the main socioeconomic and epidemiological factors. Lagged values and the instrumental variables approach are applied to address endogeneity aspects of the prevalence of infections and the adoption of national campaigns. We find evidence that public campaigns significantly reduce the use of antimicrobials in the community by 1.4 to 3.7 defined daily doses per 1000 inhabitants. This roughly represents an impact between 7.2% and 18.5% on the mean level of antibiotic use in Europe between 1997 and 2007. The effect is robust across different measurement methods. Further research is needed to investigate the effectiveness of policy interventions targeting different social groups such as general practitioners or patients.

Suggested Citation

  • Massimo Filippini & Laura G. González Ortiz & Giuliano Masiero, 2011. "Assessing the impact of antibiotic policies in Europe," Quaderni della facoltà di Scienze economiche dell'Università di Lugano 1202, USI Università della Svizzera italiana.
  • Handle: RePEc:lug:wpaper:1202

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    More about this item


    antibiotic use; public policies; national campaigns; difference-in-difference;

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • C54 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Quantitative Policy Modeling
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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