NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Movies, Margins, and Marketing: Encouraging the Adoption of Iron-Fortified Salt

Abhijit Banerjee, Sharon Barnhardt, Esther Duflo

Chapter in NBER book Insights in the Economics of Aging (2017), David A. Wise, editor (p. 285 - 306)
Conference held April 30-May 2, 2015
Published in March 2017 by University of Chicago Press
© 2017 by the National Bureau of Economic Research
in NBER Book Series - The Economics of Aging

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 usage: both by 5.5 percentage points, or over 50%, over take up without intervention, three years after launch. For comparison, only about half of households given the salt for free actually consumed it.

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This chapter first appeared as NBER working paper w21616, Movies, Margins and Marketing: Encouraging the Adoption of Iron-Fortified Salt, Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, Sharon Barnhardt
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