The Local Influence of Pioneer Investigators on Technology Adoption: Evidence from New Cancer Drugs

52 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2015 Last revised: 7 Mar 2015

See all articles by Leila Agha

Leila Agha

Boston University

David Molitor

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Date Written: January 2015

Abstract

Local opinion leaders may play a key role in easing information frictions associated with technology adoption. This paper analyzes the influence of physician investigators who lead clinical trials for new cancer drugs. By comparing diffusion patterns across 21 new cancer drugs, we separate correlated regional demand for new technology from information spillovers. Patients in the lead investigator's region are initially 36% more likely to receive the new drug, but utilization converges within four years. We also find that “superstar ” physician authors, measured by trial role or citation history, have broader influence than less prominent authors.

Suggested Citation

Agha, Leila and Molitor, David, The Local Influence of Pioneer Investigators on Technology Adoption: Evidence from New Cancer Drugs (January 2015). NBER Working Paper No. w20878. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2555398

Leila Agha (Contact Author)

Boston University ( email )

595 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
United States

David Molitor

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ( email )

601 E John St
Champaign, IL 61820
United States

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