Direct-to-Consumer Advertising on Public Health Outcomes: Can Viagra Advertising Make More Babies?

68 Pages Posted: 11 Apr 2017 Last revised: 30 Apr 2019

See all articles by Tongil "TI" Kim

Tongil "TI" Kim

Emory University - Department of Marketing

Diwas Singh KC

Emory University - Goizueta Business School

Date Written: April 27, 2019

Abstract

Although product advertising has been widely studied and understood in relation to the consumer’s purchase decision, advertising may also have unintended but important societal and economic consequences. In this paper, we examine a public health outcome—birth rate—associated with advertisements for erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs. Since the United States loosened regulation on direct-to-consumer television advertising for prescription drugs in 1997, ED drug makers have consistently been top spenders. By comparing advertising data with multiple birth data sets (patient-level hospital data from Massachusetts between 2001 and 2010 and micro birth certificate data from the U.S. between 2000 and 2004), we demonstrated that increased ED drug television advertising leads to a higher birth rate. According to our results, which are robust with respect to different functional forms and falsification tests, a 1% increase in ED drug advertising contributed to an increase of 0.04-0.08% of total births. Our findings suggest that beyond the customer purchase decision, advertising can have important public health outcomes, with resulting implications for policy formulation and managerial decision-making.

JEL Classification: J13, L82, M38, M37, I18

Suggested Citation

Kim, Tongil "TI" and KC, Diwas Singh, Direct-to-Consumer Advertising on Public Health Outcomes: Can Viagra Advertising Make More Babies? (April 27, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2950786 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2950786

Tongil "TI" Kim (Contact Author)

Emory University - Department of Marketing ( email )

Goizueta Business School
1300 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States

Diwas Singh KC

Emory University - Goizueta Business School ( email )

1300 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322-2722
United States

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