The purpose of this study is to identify the effects of monetary policy and macroeconomic shocks on the dynamics of the Brazilian term structure of interest rates. We estimate a near-VAR model under the identification scheme proposed by Christiano et al. (1996, 1999). The results resemble those of the US economy: monetary policy shocks flatten the term structure of interest rates. We find that monetary policy shocks in Brazil explain a significantly larger share of the dynamics of the term structure than in the USA. Finally, we analyze the importance of standard macroeconomic variables (e.g., GDP, inflation, and measure of country risk) to the dynamics of the term structure in Brazil.
This study examines the relationship between pharmaceutical R&D and health care expenditures, distinguishing between the short- and long-run impacts. To measure these relationships quantitatively, we focus on patents as a key factor driving the costs of pharmaceuticals, and develop a structured vector autoregressive (SVAR) model to measure the social rate of return to pharmaceutical research as protected by patents. We conclude with unambiguous results that pharmaceutical patents are not correlated with higher short-run prices in any measure of medical costs. They are associated with higher long-run prices in pharmaceuticals themselves, but with lower long-run prices in the aggregate medical sector which includes pharmaceuticals as a component part. Further, the TRIPS Agreement and Hatch-Waxman Act to enable generic competition have both been demonstrably effective at lowering prices across the spectrum of medical sector prices. We conclude that pharmaceutical patents may be economically medicinal themselves, acting as the 'ounce of prevention' that saves a 'pound of cure', the cure which would come in the form of even higher costs elsewhere in the medical sector.