NBER Working Papers by Sharon Barnhardt

Contact and additional information for this authorAll NBER papers and publicationsNBER Working Papers only

Working Papers

March 2016Can Iron-Fortified Salt Control Anemia? Evidence from Two Experiments in Rural Bihar
with Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo: w22121
Iron deficiency anemia is frequent among the poor worldwide. While it can be prevented with the appropriate supplement or food fortification, these programs often do not consistently reach the poorest. This paper reports on the impact of a potential strategy to address iron deficiency anemia in rural areas: double fortified salt (DFS) - salt fortified with iron and iodine. We conducted a large-scale experiment in rural Bihar. In 200 villages, randomly selected out of 400, DFS was introduced at a price that was half the regular retail price for DFS. After two years, we find no evidence that either selling DFS in villages or providing it for free directly to households has an economically meaningful or statistically significant impact on hemoglobin, anemia, physical health, cognition or ment...
October 2015Movies, Margins and Marketing: Encouraging the Adoption of Iron-Fortified Salt
with Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo: w21616
A set of randomized experiments shed light on how markets and information influence household decisions to adopt nutritional innovations. Of 400 Indian villages, we randomly assigned half to an intervention where all shopkeepers were offered the option to sell a new salt, fortified with both iron and iodine (and not just iodine) at 50% discount. Within treatment villages, we conducted additional interventions: an increase in retailer margin (for one or several shopkeepers), the screening of an “edutainment” movie on the benefits of double-fortified salt, a flyer informing households of the product’s availability, and free distribution to a subset of households. We find that two interventions – showing the short film and offering an incentive to all shopkeepers – significantly increased usa...

Published: Movies, Margins, and Marketing: Encouraging the Adoption of Iron-Fortified Salt, Abhijit Banerjee, Sharon Barnhardt, Esther Duflo. in Insights in the Economics of Aging, Wise. 2017

July 2015Moving to Opportunity or Isolation? Network Effects of a Randomized Housing Lottery in Urban India
with Erica Field, Rohini Pande: w21419
A housing lottery in an Indian city provided winning slum dwellers the opportunity to move into improved housing on the city’s periphery. Fourteen years later, relative to lottery losers, winners report improved housing farther from the city center, but no change in family income or human capital. Winners also report increased isolation from family and caste networks and lower access to informal insurance. We observe significant program exit: 34% of winners never moved into the subsidized housing and 32% eventually exited. Our results point to the importance of considering social networks when designing housing programs for the poor.

Contact and additional information for this authorAll NBER papers and publicationsNBER Working Papers only

NBER Videos

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

Contact Us