Vincenzo Atella

University of Rome Tor Vergata

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: Università degli Studi di Roma "Tor Vergata"

NBER Working Papers and Publications

August 2019When Technological Advance Meets Physician Learning in Drug Prescribing
with Domenico Depalo, Jay Bhattacharya, Federico Belotti: w26202
The support for scientific investigation in biomedicine depends in part on the adoption of new knowledge into medical practice. We investigate how a technological advance, in the form of a large and influential 2010 randomized controlled study, changed physician practice in statin (a medication used to manage high cholesterol levels) prescribing. We analyze data representative of the Italian population for the period 2003-2014. Our analysis accounts for possible non-random sorting of patients into treatment. We show that both doctors and patients responded promptly to this technological shock, changing the mix of patients who received therapy, drug dosing, and frequency of testing for side effects, as well as patient adherence to therapy. The results show that investments in scientific kn...
February 2019Technological Progress and Health Convergence: The Case of Penicillin in Post-War Italy
with Marcella Alsan, Jay Bhattacharya, Valentina Conti, Iván Mejía-Guevara, Grant Miller: w25541
Throughout history, technological progress has transformed population health, but the distributional effects of these gains are unclear. New substitutes for older, more expensive health technologies can produce convergence in population health outcomes, but may also be prone to “elite capture” leading to divergence. This paper studies the case of penicillin using detailed mortality statistics and exploiting its sharply-timed introduction in Italy after World War II. We find penicillin reduced both the mean and standard deviation of infectious diseases mortality, leading to substantial convergence across disparate regions of Italy. Our results do not appear to be confounded by competing risks or mortality patterns associated with World War II.
September 2013Heterogeneity in Long Term Health Outcomes of Migrants within Italy
with Partha Deb: w19422
This article examines the long term physical and mental health effects of internal migration focusing on a relatively unique migration experience from Southern and Northeastern regions of Italy to Northwestern regions and to the region around Rome concentrated over a relatively short period from 1950-1970. OLS regression estimates show significant evidence of a migration effect among early-cohort females on physical health. We find no evidence of migration-health effects for the later cohort, nor for males in the early cohort. We use finite mixture models to further explore the possibility of heterogeneous effects and find that there is a significant and substantial improvement in physical and mental health for a fraction of migrant females in the early cohort but not for others. Analysis ...

Published: Vincenzo Atella & Partha Deb & Joanna Kopinska, 2019. "Heterogeneity in long term health outcomes of migrants within Italy," Journal of Health Economics, vol 63, pages 19-33. citation courtesy of

December 2008Pharmaceutical Industry, Drug Quality and Regulation: Evidence from US and Italy
with Jay Bhattacharya, Lorenzo Carbonari: w14567
This paper examines the relationship between drug price and drug quality and how it varies across two of the most common regulatory regimes in the pharmaceutical market: minimum efficacy standards (MES) and a mix of minimum efficacy standards and price control mechanisms (MES+PC). Through a simple model of adverse selection we model the interaction between firms, heterogeneous buyers and the regulator. The theoretical analysis provides two results. First, an MES regime provides greater incentives to produce high quality drugs. Second, an MES+PC mix reduces the difference in price between the highest and lowest quality drugs on the market. The empirical analysis based on US and Italian data corroborates these results.

Published: Pharmaceutical industry, drug quality and regulation.Evidence from US and Italy Journal Article Authors Vincenzo Atella - Stanford University Jay Bhattacharya - Stanford University Carbonari, L. Published by Health Service Research, Vol. 47 no. 1 pt 1, page(s) 293-308 February 2012

NBER Videos

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email:

Contact Us