Jianan Yang

Ph.D. Candidate

Working Papers

"Affordability versus Overuse: Evidence from a Prescription Drug Price Reduction in China" (Joint with Daixin He)

(Job Market Paper)

Abstract: Improving affordability while containing overuse is a core tension in pharmaceutical pricing. This paper evaluates this trade-off by studying a drug procurement program in China, which brought down the prices of 10 chronic condition drugs by an average of 78%. Using a difference-in-differences design with a set of comparable drugs as controls, we find that this improvement in affordability led to a significant increase in demand by uninsured patients, whose purchases of treated drugs increased by 28.4% more than the insured. This demand response came both from new and existing medication takers. Drug adherence was improved for the uninsured who had poorer adherence at baseline but overuse was not affected. Our findings suggest that the purchasing power of the government to negotiate down drug prices can significantly improve affordability for the uninsured without increasing overuse, at least in the case of chronic conditions which increasingly account for a large share of the disease burden in developing countries.

"The Impact of Self or Social-regarding Messages:Experimental Evidence from Antibiotics Purchases in China" (Joint with Daixin He and Fangwen Lu)

Abstract: We study two interventions that provide patients with information on antibiotic resistance through text messages in Beijing, China. The “self-health” intervention emphasizes the threat to one’s own health and is found to have negligible effects. In contrast, the “social-health” intervention that highlights the threat to society reduces antibiotic purchases by 17% without discouraging healthcare visits and other medicine purchases. Survey evidence rules out chance of occurrence as a potential explanation, but points out that social consequences are viewed graver. The messages were sent once every month for five months, and gradual decrease of the effect size is observed over time.

"The Relation between School Climate and Student Outcomes" (Joint with Dina Polichar, Julian Betts and Andrew C. Zau)