Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The illusion of sustainability

Contents:

Author Info

  • Michael Kremer
  • Edward Miguel
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    The history of foreign development assistance is one of movement away from addressing immediate needs and toward focusing on the underlying causes of poverty. A recent manifestation is the move towards sustainability,' which stresses community mobilization, education, and cost-recovery. This stands in contrast to the traditional economic analysis of development projects, with its focus on providing public goods and correcting externalities. We examine evidence from randomized evaluations on strategies for combating intestinal worms, which affect one in four people worldwide. Providing medicine to treat worms was extremely cost effective, although medicine must be provided twice per year indefinitely to keep children worm-free. An effort to promote sustainability by educating Kenyan schoolchildren on worm prevention was ineffective, and a mobilization' intervention from psychology failed to boost deworming drug take-up. Take-up was highly sensitive to drug cost: a small increase in cost led to an 80 percent reduction in take-up (relative to free treatment). The results suggest that, in the context we examine, the pursuit of sustainability may be an illusion, and that in the short-run, at least, external subsidies will remain necessary.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://karlan.yale.edu/fieldexperiments/papers/00287.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by The Field Experiments Website in its series Natural Field Experiments with number 00287.

    as in new window
    Length:
    Date of creation: 2004
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:feb:natura:00287

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page: http://www.fieldexperiments.com

    Related research

    Keywords:

    References

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
    as in new window
    1. Edward Miguel & Michael Kremer, 2003. "Networks, social learning, and technology adoption: The case of deworming drugs in kenya," Natural Field Experiments, The Field Experiments Website 00312, The Field Experiments Website.
    2. Manning, Willard G, et al, 1987. "Health Insurance and the Demand for Medical Care: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 251-77, June.
    3. Udry, Christopher, 1996. "Gender, Agricultural Production, and the Theory of the Household," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 1010-46, October.
    4. McPake, Barbara, 1993. "User charges for health services in developing countries: A review of the economic literature," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 36(11), pages 1397-1405, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. Abhijit Banerjee & Esther Duflo, 2006. "Addressing Absence," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 117-132, Winter.
    2. Nava Ashaf & Dean Karlan & Wesley Yin, 2006. "Household decision making and savings impacts: Further evidence from a commitment savings product in the philippines," Natural Field Experiments, The Field Experiments Website 00207, The Field Experiments Website.

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:feb:natura:00287. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joe Seidel).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.