Keeping the Doctor Away: Experimental Evidence on Investment in Preventative Health Products

Jennifer M. Meredith, Jonathan Robinson, Sarah Walker, Bruce Wydick

NBER Working Paper No. 19312
Issued in August 2013
NBER Program(s):Development Economics, Health Economics

Household investment in preventative health products is low in developing countries even though benefits from these products are very high. What interventions most effectively stimulate demand? In this paper, we experimentally estimate demand curves for health products in Kenya, Guatemala, India, and Uganda and test whether (1) information about health risk, (2) cash liquidity, (3) peer effects, and (4) intra-household differences in preferences affect demand. We find households to be highly sensitive to price and that both liquidity and targeting women increase demand. We find no effect of providing information, although genuine learning occurred, and we find no evidence of peer effects, although subjects discussed the product purchase decision extensively.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w19312

Published: Meredith, Jennifer & Robinson, Jonathan & Walker, Sarah & Wydick, Bruce, 2013. "Keeping the doctor away: Experimental evidence on investment in preventative health products," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 196-210. citation courtesy of

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