IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Effect of Changes in Drug Utilization on Labor Supply and Per Capita Output

  • Frank R. Lichtenberg

We hypothesize that pharmaceutical-embodied technical progress increases per capita output via its effect on labor supply (the employment rate and hours worked per employed person). We examine the effect of changes in both the average quantity and average vintage (FDA approval year) of drugs consumed on labor supply, using longitudinal, condition-level data. The estimates indicate that conditions for which there were above-average increases in utilization of prescriptions during 1996-1998 tended to have above-average reductions in the probability of missed work days. The estimated value to employers of the reduction in missed work days appears to exceed the employer's increase in drug cost. The estimates are also consistent with the hypothesis that an increase in a condition's mean drug vintage reduces the probability that people with that condition will experience activity and work limitations, and reduces their average number of restricted-activity days. The estimates imply that activity limitations decline at the rate of about one percent per year of drug vintage, and that the rate of pharmaceutical-embodied technical progress with respect to activity limitations is about 18% per year. Estimates of the cost of the increase in drug vintage necessary to achieve reductions in activity limitations indicate that increases in drug vintage tend to be very 'cost-effective.'

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9139.

in new window

Date of creation: Sep 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9139
Note: HC PR
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Frank R. Lichtenberg & Tomas J. Philipson, 2002. "The Dual Effects of Intellectual Property Regulations: Within- and Between-Patent Competition in the U.S. Pharmaceuticals Industry," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(S2), pages 643-672.
  2. Hulten, Charles R, 1992. "Growth Accounting When Technical Change Is Embodied in Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 964-80, September.
  3. Bahk, Byong-Hong & Gort, Michael, 1993. "Decomposing Learning by Doing in New Plants," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(4), pages 561-83, August.
  4. Zvi Griliches & Frank R. Lichtenberg, 1984. "R&D and Productivity Growth at the Industry Level: Is There Still a Relationship?," NBER Chapters, in: R&D, Patents, and Productivity, pages 465-502 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Charles R. Hulten, 1992. "Growth Accounting When Technical Change is Embodied in Capital," NBER Working Papers 3971, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Lichtenberg, Frank R, 1996. "Do (More and Better) Drugs Keep People Out of Hospitals?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 384-88, May.
  7. Plutarchos Sakellaris & Daniel J. Wilson, 2001. "The production-side approach to estimating embodied technological change," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-20, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  8. repec:umd:umdeco:sakellaris0002 is not listed on IDEAS
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9139. 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: ()

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.