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Pharmaceutical Innovation and Longevity Growth in 30 Developing and High-income Countries, 2000-2009


  • Frank R. Lichtenberg


I examine the impact of pharmaceutical innovation, as measured by the vintage (world launch year) of prescription drugs used, on longevity using longitudinal, country-level data on 30 developing and high-income countries during the period 2000-2009. I control for fixed country and year effects, real per capita income, the unemployment rate, mean years of schooling, the urbanization rate, real per capita health expenditure (public and private), the DPT immunization rate among children ages 12-23 months, HIV prevalence and tuberculosis incidence. The estimates indicate that life expectancy at all ages and survival rates above age 25 increased faster in countries with larger increases in drug vintage (measured in three different ways), ceteris paribus, and that the increase in life expectancy at birth due to the increase in the fraction of drugs consumed that were launched after 1990 was 1.27 years--73% of the actual increase in life expectancy at birth.

Suggested Citation

  • Frank R. Lichtenberg, 2012. "Pharmaceutical Innovation and Longevity Growth in 30 Developing and High-income Countries, 2000-2009," NBER Working Papers 18235, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18235
    Note: AG EFG HC PR

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2005. "Healthy living in hard times," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 341-363, March.
    2. Patricia M. Danzon & Y. Richard Wang & Liang Wang, 2005. "The impact of price regulation on the launch delay of new drugs-evidence from twenty-five major markets in the 1990s," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(3), pages 269-292.
    3. Daron Acemoglu & Joshua Linn, 2004. "Market Size in Innovation: Theory and Evidence from the Pharmaceutical Industry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(3), pages 1049-1090.
    4. Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2005. "The Relationship Between Education and Adult Mortality in the United States," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 189-221.
    5. Hercowitz, Zvi, 1998. "The 'embodiment' controversy: A review essay," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 217-224, February.
    6. Hulten, Charles R, 1992. "Growth Accounting When Technical Change Is Embodied in Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 964-980, September.
    7. Frank Lichtenberg, 2011. "The quality of medical care, behavioral risk factors, and longevity growth," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 1-34, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Frank R. Lichtenberg, 2015. "Pharmaceutical Innovation, Longevity, and Medical Expenditure in Greece, 1995-2010," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(2), pages 277-299, July.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity

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