NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Nicholas W. Papageorge

Department of Economics
Johns Hopkins University
3400 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
Tel: 410/516-4938

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NBER Program Affiliations: AG
NBER Affiliation: Faculty Research Fellow

NBER Working Papers and Publications

July 2018Positively Aware? Conflicting Expert Reviews and Demand for Medical Treatment
with Jorge F. Balat, Shaiza Qayyum: w24820
We study the impact of expert reviews on the demand for HIV treatments. A novel feature of our study is that we observe two reviews for each HIV drug and focus attention on consumer responses when experts disagree. Reviews are provided by both a doctor and an activist in the HIV lifestyle magazine Positively Aware, which we merge with detailed panel data on HIV-positive men’s treatment consumption and health outcomes. To establish a causal relationship between reviews and demand, we exploit the arrival of new drugs over time, which provides arguably random variation in reviews of existing drugs. We find that when doctors and activists agree, positive reviews increase demand for HIV drugs. However, doctors and activists frequently disagree, most often over treatments that are effective, but...
May 2018Genetic Endowments and Wealth Inequality
with Daniel Barth, Kevin Thom: w24642
We show that genetic endowments linked to educational attainment strongly and robustly predict wealth at retirement. The estimated relationship is not fully explained by flexibly controlling for education and labor income. We therefore investigate a host of additional mechanisms that could help to explain the gene-wealth gradient, including inheritances, mortality, savings, risk preferences, portfolio decisions, beliefs about the probabilities of macroeconomic events, and planning horizons. The associations we report provide preliminary evidence that genetic endowments related to human capital accumulation are associated with wealth not only through educational attainment and labor income, but also through a facility with complex financial decision-making. Our study illustrates how econo...
Innovation and Diffusion of Medical Treatment
with Barton H. Hamilton, Andrés Hincapié, Robert A. Miller: w24577
This paper develops and estimates a dynamic structural model of demand for a multi-attribute product. The demand side equilibrium supports a product spectrum, the characteristics of which evolve over time in response to supply innovations induced by the composition and extent of aggregate demand. The direction and speed of innovation is inefficient because individuals create an externality by not accounting for their influence on the discovery process. We apply the model to drugs invented to combat the HIV epidemic, during which frequent, incremental innovations in medication were punctuated by sporadic breakthroughs. In this application products differ in their efficacy and their propensity to cause side effects. Our biennial data on four American cities track a replenished panel of indiv...
December 2016Health, Human Capital and Domestic Violence
with Gwyn C. Pauley, Mardge Cohen, Tracey E. Wilson, Barton H. Hamilton, Robert A. Pollak: w22887
We study the impact of health shocks on domestic violence and illicit drug use. We argue that health is a form of human capital that shifts incentives for risky behaviors, such as drug use, and also changes options outside of violent relationships. To estimate causal effects, we examine chronically ill women before and after a medical breakthrough and exploit differences in these women's health prior to the breakthrough. We show evidence that health improvements induced by the breakthrough reduced domestic violence and illicit drug use. Our findings provide support for the idea that health improvements can have far-reaching implications for costly social problems. The policy relevance of our findings is compounded by the fact that both domestic violence and illicit drug use are social prob...
 
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