NBER Working Papers by Seth Richards-Shubik

Contact and additional information for this authorAll publicationsWorking Papers only

Working Papers

January 2010Explaining the Rise in Educational Gradients in Mortality
with David M. Cutler, Fabian Lange, Ellen Meara, Seth Richards, Christopher J. Ruhm: w15678
The long-standing inverse relationship between education and mortality strengthened substantially later in the 20th century. This paper examines the reasons for this increase. We show that behavioral risk factors are not of primary importance. Smoking has declined more for the better educated, but not enough to explain the trend. Obesity has risen at similar rates across education groups, and control of blood pressure and cholesterol has increased fairly uniformly as well. Rather, our results show that the mortality returns to risk factors, and conditional on risk factors, the return to education, have grown over time.
September 2009Induced Innovation and Social Inequality: Evidence from Infant Medical Care
with David M. Cutler, Ellen Meara, Seth Richards: w15316
We develop a model of induced innovation where research effort is a function of the death rate, and thus the potential to reduce deaths in the population. We also consider potential social consequences that arise from this form of induced innovation based on differences in disease prevalence across population subgroups (i.e. race). Our model yields three empirical predictions. First, initial death rates and subsequent research effort should be positively correlated. Second, research effort should be associated with more rapid mortality declines. Third, as a byproduct of targeting the most common conditions in the population as a whole, induced innovation leads to growth in mortality disparities between minority and majority groups. Using information on infant deaths in the U.S. betwe...
January 2009The Effects of Pharmaceutical Marketing and Promotion on Adverse Drug Events and Regulation
with Guy David, Sara Markowitz, Seth Richards: w14634
This paper analyzes the relationship between postmarketing promotional activity and reporting of adverse drug events by modeling the interaction between a welfare maximizing regulator (the FDA) and a profit maximizing firm. In our analysis demand is sensitive to both promotion and regulatory interventions. Promotion-driven market expansions enhance profitability yet may involve the risk that the drug would be prescribed inappropriately, leading to adverse regulatory actions against the firm. The model exposes the effects of the current regulatory system on consumer and producer welfare. Particularly, the emphasis on safety over benefits distorts the market allocation of drugs away from some of the most appropriate users. We then empirically test the relationship between drug promotion and ...

Contact and additional information for this authorAll publicationsWorking Papers only


National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email:

Contact Us