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The Local Influence of Pioneer Investigators on Technology Adoption: Evidence from New Cancer Drugs

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  • Leila Agha
  • David Molitor

Abstract

Local opinion leaders may play a key role in easing information frictions associated with technology adoption. This paper analyzes the influence of physician investigators who lead clinical trials for new cancer drugs. By comparing diffusion patterns across 21 new cancer drugs, we separate correlated regional demand for new technology from information spillovers. Patients in the lead investigator's region are initially 36% more likely to receive the new drug, but utilization converges within four years. We also find that “superstar ” physician authors, measured by trial role or citation history, have broader influence than less prominent authors.

Suggested Citation

  • Leila Agha & David Molitor, 2015. "The Local Influence of Pioneer Investigators on Technology Adoption: Evidence from New Cancer Drugs," NBER Working Papers 20878, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20878
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Amitabh Chandra & Douglas O. Staiger, 2007. "Productivity Spillovers in Health Care: Evidence from the Treatment of Heart Attacks," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 103-140.
    2. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg & Rebecca Henderson, 1993. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 577-598.
    3. Comin, Diego & Dmitriev, Mikhail & Rossi-Hansberg, Esteban, 2012. "The Spatial Diffusion of Technology," CEPR Discussion Papers 9208, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Pierre Azoulay & Joshua S. Graff Zivin & Bhaven N. Sampat, 2011. "The Diffusion of Scientific Knowledge across Time and Space: Evidence from Professional Transitions for the Superstars of Medicine," NBER Chapters,in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity Revisited, pages 107-155 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Jonathan Skinner & Douglas Staiger, 2007. "Technology Adoption from Hybrid Corn to Beta-Blockers," NBER Chapters,in: Hard-to-Measure Goods and Services: Essays in Honor of Zvi Griliches, pages 545-570 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Sam Watson’s journal round-up for 12th March 2018
      by Sam Watson in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2018-03-12 12:00:42

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    Cited by:

    1. Kenneth J. Arrow & Kamran Bilir & Alan T. Sorensen, 2017. "The Impact of Information Technology on the Diffusion of New Pharmaceuticals," NBER Working Papers 23257, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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