Keeping the Doctor Away: Experimental Evidence on Investment in Preventative Health Products
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.
We are grateful to research assistance from Elliott Collins, Felipe Dizon, Sarah Janzen, Jesse Meredith, Fidel Ndai, Jean-Paul Petraud, and Gonzalo Villaran. We thank Michelle Choi, Jishnu Das, Pascaline Dupas, Rob Jensen, Justin Marion, George Marios-Angeletos, Ted Miguel, two anonymous referees, and seminar participants at the 2011 Northeast Universities Development Consortium, 2012 Midwest International Economic Development Conference, the MIT Maternal and Child Health Conference, the 2012 Pacific Development Conference, and UC Santa Cruz for helpful comments. We wish to thank the Jesuit Foundation at the University of San Francisco and UCSC for financial support for this project. We thank Innovations for Poverty Action (Kenya) for administrative support. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
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