NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Shaiza Qayyum

Department of Economics
Johns Hopkins University
Wyman Building
3400 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218

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Institutional Affiliation: Johns Hopkins University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

July 2018Positively Aware? Conflicting Expert Reviews and Demand for Medical Treatment
with Jorge F. Balat, Nicholas W. Papageorge: w24820
We study the impact of expert reviews on the demand for HIV treatments. A novel feature of our study is that we observe two reviews for each HIV drug and focus attention on consumer responses when experts disagree. Reviews are provided by both a doctor and an activist in the HIV lifestyle magazine Positively Aware, which we merge with detailed panel data on HIV-positive men’s treatment consumption and health outcomes. To establish a causal relationship between reviews and demand, we exploit the arrival of new drugs over time, which provides arguably random variation in reviews of existing drugs. We find that when doctors and activists agree, positive reviews increase demand for HIV drugs. However, doctors and activists frequently disagree, most often over treatments that are effective, but...
 
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