NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Financial Health Economics

Tomas Philipson, Ralph Koijen, Harald Uhlig

NBER Working Paper No. 20075
Issued in April 2014
NBER Program(s):   HE   EFG

We provide a theoretical and empirical analysis of the link between financial and real health care markets. We document a "medical innovation premium" of 4-6% annually for equity of medical firms and analyze the implications it has for the growth of the health care sector. We interpret the premium as compensating investors for government-induced proft risk. We provide supportive evidence for this hypothesis through company filings and abnormal return patterns surrounding threats of government intervention. We quantify the implications of the premium for growth in real health care spending by calibrating our model to match historical trends. Policies that had removed government risk would have lead to more than a doubling of medical R&D and would have increased the current share of health care spending by 4% of GDP, with a predicted long run share of 38%.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w20075

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