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The Alignment of Innovation Policy and Social Welfare: Evidence from Pharmaceuticals

Margaret K. Kyle


This chapter is a preliminary draft unless otherwise noted. It may not have been subjected to the formal review process of the NBER. This page will be updated as the chapter is revised.

Chapter in forthcoming NBER book Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 20, Josh Lerner and Scott Stern, editors
Conference held April 16, 2019
Forthcoming from University of Chicago Press
in NBER Book Series Innovation Policy and the Economy

This chapter provides an overview of different innovation policies and their performance in the pharmaceutical sector. I emphasize three points. First, both push and pull policies have generally promoted pharmaceutical research for diseases with large burdens. Second, imperfections in product and capital markets undermine the efficiency of pull policies. Similarly, the allocation of public funds is not always optimal, which limits the efficacy of push policies. Finally, the need to coordinate or adapt to policies choices in other countries is often overlooked in both economic studies of pharmaceutical R&D as well as policy choices.

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