NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Bruce Wydick

Department of Economics
University of San Francisco
San Francisco, CA 94117

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

March 2018Mortality from Nestlé’s Marketing of Infant Formula in Low and Middle-Income Countries
with Jesse K. Anttila-Hughes, Lia C.H. Fernald, Paul J. Gertler, Patrick Krause: w24452
Intensive and controversial marketing of infant formula is believed to be responsible for millions of infant deaths in low and middle-income countries (LMICs), yet to date there have been no rigorous analyses that quantify these effects. To estimate the impact of infant formula on infant mortality, we pair country-specific data from the annual corporate reports of Nestlé, the largest producer of infant formula, with a sample of 2.48 million births in 46 LMICs from 1970-2011. Our key finding is that the availability of formula increased infant mortality by 9.4 per 1000 births, 95%CI [3.6, 15.6] among mothers without access to clean water, suggesting that unclean water acted as a vector for the transmission of water-borne pathogens to infants. We estimate that the availability of formula ...
November 2017Hope as Aspirations, Agency, and Pathways: Poverty Dynamics and Microfinance in Oaxaca, Mexico
with Travis J. Lybbert
in The Economics of Poverty Traps, Christopher B. Barrett, Michael R. Carter, and Jean-Paul Chavas, editors
Work in positive psychology by Snyder (1994) decomposes hope into aspirations, agency, and pathways. Operating in the context of an economic model developed with this framework, we review the literature on hope from psychology, philosophy and theology, and its relationship to emerging work on aspirations in development economics. We then present one-month follow-up results from an experimental study based on a hope intervention in Oaxaca, Mexico among 601 indigenous women with access to microfinance loans. Our early experimental results suggest that the intervention raised aspirations approximately a quarter of a standard deviation, significantly raised a hope index among the treated subjects, and had positive but statistically insignificant results on enterprise revenues and profits.
September 2016Hope as Aspirations, Agency, and Pathways: Poverty Dynamics and Microfinance in Oaxaca, Mexico
with Travis J. Lybbert: w22661
Work in positive psychology decomposes hope into aspirations, agency, and pathways. Operating in the context of an economic model developed with this framework, we review the literature on hope from philosophy, theology, psychology, and its relationship to emerging work on aspirations in development economics. We then present one-month follow-up results from an experimental study based on a hope intervention in Oaxaca, Mexico among 601 indigenous women with access to microfinance loans. Our early experimental results suggest that the intervention raised aspirations approximately a quarter of a standard deviation, significantly raised a hope index among the treated subjects, and had positive but statistically insignificant results on enterprise revenues and profits.
August 2013Keeping the Doctor Away: Experimental Evidence on Investment in Preventative Health Products
with Jennifer M. Meredith, Jonathan Robinson, Sarah Walker: w19312
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.

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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