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Network Effects and Diffusion in Pharmaceutical Markets: Antiulcer Drugs

  • Ernst R. Berndt
  • Robert S. Pindyck
  • Pierre Azoulay

We examine the role of network effects in the demand for pharmaceuticals at both the brand level and for a therapeutic class of drugs. These effects emerge when use of a drug by others conveys information about its efficacy and safety to patients and physicians. This can lead to herd behavior where a particular drug -- not necessarily the most efficacious or safest -- can come to dominate the market despite the availability of close substitutes, and can also affect the rate of market diffusion. Using data for H2-antagonist antiulcer drugs, we examine two aspects of these effects. First, we use hedonic price procedures to estimate how the aggregate usage of a drug affects brand valuation. Second, we estimate discrete-time diffusion models at both the industry and brand levels to measure the impact on rates of diffusion and market saturation.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7024.

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Date of creation: Mar 1999
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7024
Note: HC PR
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  1. Berndt, Ernst R, et al, 1995. "Information, Marketing, and Pricing in the U.S. Antiulcer Drug Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 100-105, May.
  2. Zvi Griliches, 1990. "Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey," NBER Working Papers 3301, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Stanley M. Besen & Joseph Farrell, 1994. "Choosing How to Compete: Strategies and Tactics in Standardization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 117-131, Spring.
  4. Beggs, Alan W & Klemperer, Paul, 1992. "Multi-period Competition with Switching Costs," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(3), pages 651-66, May.
  5. Sara Ellison Fisher & Iain Cockburn & Zvi Griliches & Jerry Hausman, 1997. "Characteristics of Demand for Pharmaceutical Products: An Examination of Four Cephalosporins," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 28(3), pages 426-446, Autumn.
  6. Sushil Bikhchandani & David Hirshleifer & Ivo Welch, 1998. "Learning from the Behavior of Others: Conformity, Fads, and Informational Cascades," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 151-170, Summer.
  7. Neil Gandal, 1994. "Hedonic Price Indexes for Spreadsheets and an Empirical Test for Network Externalities," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(1), pages 160-170, Spring.
  8. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1994. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," NBER Technical Working Papers 0151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Jay Pil Choi, 1997. "Herd Behavior, the 'Penguin Effect,' and the Suppression of Informational Diffusion: An Analysis of Informational Externalities and Payoff Interdependency," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 28(3), pages 407-425, Autumn.
  10. Erik Brynjolfsson & Chris F. Kemerer, 1996. "Network Externalities in Microcomputer Software: An Econometric Analysis of the Spreadsheet Market," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 42(12), pages 1627-1647, December.
  11. Ernst R. Berndt & Linda T. Bui & David H. Lucking-Reiley & Glen L. Urban, 1996. "The Roles of Marketing, Product Quality, and Price Competition in the Growth and Composition of the U.S. Antiulcer Drug Industry," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of New Goods, pages 277-328 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Goolsbee, Austan & Klenow, Peter J, 2002. "Evidence on Learning and Network Externalities in the Diffusion of Home Computers," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(2), pages 317-43, October.
  13. Scharfstein, David. & Stein, Jeremy C., 1988. "Herd behavior and investment," Working papers WP 2062-88., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  14. Kessler, Daniel & McClellan, Mark, 1996. "Do Doctors Practice Defensive Medicine?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(2), pages 353-90, May.
  15. Daniel P. Kessler & Mark McClellan, 1996. "Do Doctors Practice Defensive Medicine?," NBER Working Papers 5466, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Zvi Griliches, 1958. "Research Costs and Social Returns: Hybrid Corn and Related Innovations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 419.
  17. Banerjee, Abhijit V, 1992. "A Simple Model of Herd Behavior," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 797-817, August.
  18. repec:fth:harver:1473 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Iain M. Cockburn & Aslam H. Anis, 2001. "Hedonic Analysis of Arthritis Drugs," NBER Chapters, in: Medical Care Output and Productivity, pages 439-462 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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