Working Papers

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Does Three Strikes Deter?  A Non-Parametric Estimation

Comment: (with Eric Helland)

ABSTRACT: We take advantage of the fortuitous randomization of trial outcome to provide a novel strategy to identify the deterrent effect exclusive of incapacitation.  We compare the post-sentencing criminal activity of criminals who were convicted of a strikeable offense with those who were tried for a strikeable offense but convicted of a non-strikeable offense.  As a robustness check, we also make this comparison in states without three strikes laws.  The identification strategy lets us estimate the deterrent effect non-parametrically using data solely from the three-strikes era.  We find that California’s three strike legislation significantly reduces felony arrest rates among the class of criminals with 2 strikes by 17-20 percent.

Do Off-Label Drug Practices  Argue Against FDA Efficacy Requirements? Testing an Argument by Stuctured Conversations with Experts

Comment: (with Dan Klein).   The heart of this paper is an analysis of the written comments that physicians made to the "consistency argument" (see the paper).  We provide all the comments here as Word documents.  The responses are split into three categories; the comments of challengers who disputed the consistency argument, the comments of liberalizers who agreed with the consistency argument, and final comments on the survey made by both challengers and liberalizers.  In the text these are denoted as the "g", "c" and "f" comments respectively.

ABSTRACT: The amended Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act requires efficacy certification for a drug’s initial uses (“on-label”), but does not require certification before physicians may prescribe the drug for subsequent uses (“off-label”).  Does it make sense to require FDA efficacy certification for new drugs but not for new uses of old drugs?  Using a sequential online survey we carried on a “virtual conversation” with some 500 physicians.  The survey asked whether efficacy requirements should be imposed on off-label uses; almost all physicians said no.  It asked whether the efficacy requirements for initial uses should be dropped, and most physicians said no.  We then asked respondents whether opposing efficacy requirements in one case but not the other involved an inconsistency.  In response, we received hundreds of written commentaries.  We organize and discuss these commentaries with an eye to understanding how the medical market certifies off-label drug uses and how this compares to FDA certification.  Does off-label medicine suggest that efficacy requirements should be placed on new uses of old drugs?  Does it suggest that efficacy requirements on new drugs should be lifted?