NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Joshua Linn

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Working Papers

March 2012Gasoline Taxes and Consumer Behavior
with Shanjun Li, Erich Muehlegger: w17891
Gasoline taxes can be employed to correct externalities from automobile use and to raise government revenue. Our understanding of the optimal gasoline tax and the efficacy of existing taxes is largely based on empirical analysis of consumer responses to gasoline price changes. In this paper, we directly examine how gasoline taxes affect gasoline consumption as distinct from tax-inclusive retail gasoline prices. We find robust evidence that consumers respond more strongly to gasoline tax changes under a variety of model specifications. We discuss two potential reasons for our main findings as well as their implications.
January 2006Did Medicare Induce Pharmaceutical Innovation?
with Daron Acemoglu, David Cutler, Amy Finkelstein: w11949
The introduction of Medicare in 1965 was the single largest change in health insurance coverage in U.S. history. Many economists and commentators have conjectured that the introduction of Medicare may have also been an important impetus for the development of new drugs that are now commonly used by the elderly and have substantially extended their life expectancy. In this paper, we investigate whether Medicare induced pharmaceutical innovations directed towards the elderly. Medicare could have played such a role only if two conditions were met. First, Medicare would have to increase drug spending by the elderly. Second, the pharmaceutical companies would have to respond to the change in market size for drugs caused by Medicare by changing the direction of their research. Our empirical work...
October 2003Market Size in Innovation: Theory and Evidence From the Pharmaceutical Industry
with Daron Acemoglu: w10038
This paper investigates the effect of (potential) market size on entry of new drugs and pharmaceutical innovation. Focusing on exogenous changes driven by U.S. demographic trends, we find that a 1 percent increase in the potential market size for a drug category leads to a 4 to 6 percent increase in the number of new drugs in that category. This response comes from both the entry of generic drugs and new non-generic drugs, and is generally robust to controlling for a variety of non-profit factors, pre-existing trends

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