Economics at your fingertips  

What drives innovation? Lessons from COVID-19 R&D

Ruchir Agarwal and Patrick Gaulé ()

Journal of Health Economics, 2022, vol. 82, issue C

Abstract: This paper studies the global R&D effort to fight the deadliest diseases. We find: (1) the elasticity of R&D effort with respect to market size is about 1/2 in the cross-section of diseases; (2) given this elasticity, the R&D response to COVID-19 has been 4 to 26 times greater than that implied by its market size; (3) the aggregate short-term elasticity of science and innovation can be very large, as demonstrated by the aggregate flow of clinical trials increasing by 38% in 2020, with limited crowding out of trials for non-COVID diseases; and (4) public institutions and government-led incentives were a key driver of the COVID-19 R&D effort—with public research institutions accounting for 70 percent of all COVID-19 clinical trials globally. Overall, our work suggests that leveraging early-stage incentives, non-monetary incentives, and public institutions may be important for scaling up global innovation.

Keywords: COVID-19; Innovation; Market size; Pharmaceutical industry (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
Working Paper: What Drives Innovation? Lessons from COVID-19 R&D (2021) Downloads
Working Paper: What Drives Innovation? Lessons from COVID-19 R&D (2021) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2022.102591

Access Statistics for this article

Journal of Health Economics is currently edited by J. P. Newhouse, A. J. Culyer, R. Frank, K. Claxton and T. McGuire

More articles in Journal of Health Economics from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Catherine Liu ().

Page updated 2022-09-14
Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:82:y:2022:i:c:s016762962200011x