Representation in Product Development: Evidence from Insurance and Clinical Trials

Tamar Oostrom (Ohio State University)

March 22, 2024, 11:00–12:30

Room Auditorium 4

Public Economics Seminar


We investigate the causes and consequences of demographic disparities in product development. We focus on how insurance policies affect elderly enrollment in clinical trials. In 2000, Medicare extended coverage for clinical trial costs. This policy shifted the rate and direction of clinical research, leading to an 18 percent increase in trials targeting diseases common among the elderly, compared to those affecting younger populations. We find trial sponsors expanded the enrollment criteria of trials to include more elderly participants. This policy was also associated with increase in drug utilization for elderly drugs. (Joint with Jennifer Kao (UCLA)