IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/6601.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Allocation of Publicly-Funded Biomedical Research

Author

Listed:
  • Frank R. Lichtenberg

Abstract

We develop a simple theoretical model of the allocation of public biomedical research expenditure, and present some empirical evidence about the determinants of this allocation. The structure of expenditure should depend on the relative costs as well as the relative benefits of different kinds of research. Analysts of technical change typically have data on neither of these, but the measures of disease burden we use are indicative of the benefit of achieving advances against different diseases. We calculate distributions of government-funded biomedical research expenditure, by disease, from records of all research projects supported by the US Public Health Service: to obtain a reasonably complete accounting of disease burden, we utilize data on both the dying (from the Vital Statistics-Mortality Detail file) and the living (from the National Health Interview Survey). We find a very strong positive relationship across diseases between total life-years lost before age 65 and public R&D expenditure. But the amount of publicly-funded research on a disease decreases with the share of life-years before age 65 lost to the deases by non-whites, perhaps because lack of scientific knowledge is a less important cause of premature mortality among non-whites than it is among whites. The number of research grants mentioning a chronic condition is completely uncorrelated with the number of people with the condition but very strongly positively related to the number of people whose activities are limited by that condition. There tends to be more research about chronic conditions that are prevalent among people living in low-income households, and that are prevalent among the young (under age 18) and the old (above age 75).

Suggested Citation

  • Frank R. Lichtenberg, 1998. "The Allocation of Publicly-Funded Biomedical Research," NBER Working Papers 6601, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6601
    Note: PR HC
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w6601.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rebecca Henderson & Iain Cockburn, 1996. "Scale, Scope, and Spillovers: The Determinants of Research Productivity in Drug Discovery," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(1), pages 32-59, Spring.
    2. Frank R. Lichtenberg, 1996. "The Effect of Pharmaceutical Utilization and Innovation on Hospitalization and Mortality," NBER Working Papers 5418, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Lichtenberg, Frank R, 1996. "Do (More and Better) Drugs Keep People Out of Hospitals?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 384-388, May.
    4. Zvi Griliches & Frank R. Lichtenberg, 1982. "R and D and Productivity at the Industry Level: Is There Still a Relationship?," NBER Working Papers 0850, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Adams, James D, 1990. "Fundamental Stocks of Knowledge and Productivity Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 673-702, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. A. Abigail Payne, 2003. "The Effects of Congressional Appropriation Committee Membership on the Distribution of Federal Research Funding to Universities," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 41(2), pages 325-345, April.
    2. Kenkel, Donald S. & Manning, Willard, 1999. "Economic evaluation of nutrition policy: Or, there's no such thing as a free lunch," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(2-3), pages 145-162, May.
    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. Margaret K. Kyle, 2019. "The Alignment of Innovation Policy and Social Welfare: Evidence from Pharmaceuticals," NBER Chapters, in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 20, pages 95-123, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Jay Bhattacharya & Mikko Packalen, 2008. "Is Medicine an Ivory Tower? Induced Innovation, Technological Opportunity, and For-Profit vs. Non-Profit Innovation," NBER Working Papers 13862, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Kyle, Margaret K. & Ridley, David B. & Zhang, Su, 2017. "Strategic interaction among governments in the provision of a global public good," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 156(C), pages 185-199.
    7. Frank R. Lichtenberg, 2018. "The Impact of Public and Private Research on Premature Cancer Mortality and Hospitalization in the United States, 1999-2013," The American Economist, Sage Publications, vol. 63(2), pages 147-165, October.
    8. Sampat, Bhaven N., 2012. "Mission-oriented biomedical research at the NIH," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(10), pages 1729-1741.
    9. Rodrigo Cerda, 2007. "Endogenous innovations in the pharmaceutical industry," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 473-515, August.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. James W. Hughes & Michael J. Moore & Edward A. Snyder, 2002. ""Napsterizing" Pharmaceuticals: Access, Innovation, and Consumer Welfare," NBER Working Papers 9229, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Lee Branstetter & Chirantan Chatterjee & Matthew J. Higgins, 2016. "Regulation and welfare: evidence from paragraph IV generic entry in the pharmaceutical industry," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 47(4), pages 857-890, November.
    3. Toole, Andrew A. & Czarnitzki, Dirk, 2007. "Life Scientist Mobility from Academe to Industry: Does Academic Entrepreneurship Induce a Costly ?Brain Drain? on the Not-for-Profit Research Sector?," ZEW Discussion Papers 07-072, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    4. Lee Branstetter & Kwon Hyeog Ug, 2004. "The Restructuring Of Japanese Research And Development: The Increasing Impact Of Science On Japanese R&D," Discussion papers 04021, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    5. Chen, Chien-Ming & van Dalen, Jan, 2010. "Measuring dynamic efficiency: Theories and an integrated methodology," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 203(3), pages 749-760, June.
    6. Leten, Bart & Kelchtermans, Stijn & Belderbos, Ren, 2010. "Internal Basic Research, External Basic Research and the Technological Performance of Pharmaceutical Firms," Working Papers 2010/12, Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel, Faculteit Economie en Management.
    7. Coronado, Daniel & Acosta, Manuel & Fernández, Ana, 2008. "Attitudes to innovation in peripheral economic regions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(6-7), pages 1009-1021, July.
    8. Rothaermel, Frank T. & Thursby, Marie, 2007. "The nanotech versus the biotech revolution: Sources of productivity in incumbent firm research," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 832-849, July.
    9. Iain M. Cockburn & Rebecca M. Henderson, 2001. "Publicly Funded Science and the Productivity of the Pharmaceutical Industry," NBER Chapters, in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 1, pages 1-34, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Dirk Czarnitzki & Katrin Hussinger & Cédric Schneider, 2011. "Commercializing academic research: the quality of faculty patenting," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(5), pages 1403-1437, October.
    11. Manuel Hermosilla & Jorge Lemus, 2018. "Therapeutic Translation of Genomic Science: Opportunities and Limitations of GWAS," NBER Chapters, in: Economic Dimensions of Personalized and Precision Medicine, pages 21-52, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Lee Branstetter & Reiko Aoki, 2005. "Is Academic Science Raising Innovative Productivity? Theory and Evidence from Firm-Level Data," Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series d05-86, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    13. Pluvia Zuniga, 2011. "The State of Patenting at Research Institutions in Developing Countries: Policy Approaches and Practices," WIPO Economic Research Working Papers 04, World Intellectual Property Organization - Economics and Statistics Division, revised Dec 2011.
    14. Cassiman, Bruno & Veugelers, Reinhilde & Zuniga, Pluvia, 2007. "Science linkages and innovation performance: An analysis on CIS-3 firms in Belgium," IESE Research Papers D/671, IESE Business School.
    15. Lim, Kwanghui, 2004. "The relationship between research and innovation in the semiconductor and pharmaceutical industries (1981-1997)," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 287-321, March.
    16. James D. Adams & J. Roger Clemmons & Paula E. Stephan, 2006. "How Rapidly Does Science Leak Out?," NBER Working Papers 11997, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. repec:wip:wpaper:4 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Cohen, Wesley M., 2010. "Fifty Years of Empirical Studies of Innovative Activity and Performance," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, in: Bronwyn H. Hall & Nathan Rosenberg (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 0, pages 129-213, Elsevier.
    19. Matsushima, Kazunari & Aoshima, Yaichi, 2014. "The Spillover Effects of Publicly Supported Private R&D : Analysis of NEDO Follow-up Survey Data," IIR Working Paper 14-04, Institute of Innovation Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    20. Goodall, Amanda H., 2009. "Highly cited leaders and the performance of research universities," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 1079-1092, September.
    21. de Rassenfosse, Gaétan, 2013. "Do firms face a trade-off between the quantity and the quality of their inventions?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(5), pages 1072-1079.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H5 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6601. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.