NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Damien de Walque

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Working Papers

February 2012Stimulating Demand for AIDS Prevention: Lessons from the RESPECT Trial
with William H. Dow, Carol Medlin, Rose Nathan: w17865
HIV-prevention strategies have yielded only limited success so far in slowing down the AIDS epidemic. This paper examines novel intervention strategies that use incentives to discourage risky sexual behaviors. Widely-adopted conditional cash transfer programs that offer payments conditioning on easily monitored behaviors, such as well-child health care visits have shown positive impact on health outcomes. Similarly, contingency management approaches have successfully used outcome-based rewards to encourage behaviors that aren’t easily monitored, such as stopping drug abuse. These strategies have not been used in the sexual domain, so we assess how incentives can be used to reduce risky sexual behavior. After discussing theoretical pathways, we discuss the use of sexual-behavior incentives...
January 2012Alternative Cash Transfer Delivery Mechanisms: Impacts on Routine Preventative Health Clinic Visits in Burkina Faso
with Richard Akresh, Harounan Kazianga: w17785
We conducted a unique randomized experiment to estimate the impact of alternative cash transfer delivery mechanisms on household demand for routine preventative health services in rural Burkina Faso. The two-year pilot program randomly distributed cash transfers that were either conditional or unconditional and were given to either mothers or fathers. Families under the conditional cash transfer schemes were required to obtain quarterly child growth monitoring at local health clinics for all children under 60 months old. There were no such requirements under the unconditional programs. Compared with control group households, we find that conditional cash transfers significantly increase the number of preventative health care visits during the previous year, while unconditional cash transfe...

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