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Commitment Mechanisms and Compliance with Health-Protecting Behavior: Preliminary Evidence from Orissa, India

  • Alessandro Tarozzi
  • Aprajit Mahajan
  • Joanne Yoong
  • Brian Blackburn

Transmitted by Anopheles mosquitoes, malaria is one fo the major global health burdens, with a global incidence of 300-660 million cases every year. Malaria infection may develop into severe febrile episodes and lead to chronic disease and possibly death, and is particularly dire among young children and pregnant women. Numerous studies have shown that insecticide-treated bednets (ITNs) are one of the most effective means of reducing malaria related morbidity and mortality. However, ITN adoption in most malaria areas remains very low and public health interventions frequently have insufficient resources to provide complete ITN coverage for all individuals at risk. Cost is often cited as the most obvious explanation for low usage, but another likely factor is the lack of proper information about potential benefits. The difficulty of inducing sustained compliance with health-protecting behavior is a common obstacle in public health initiatives. Researchers have argued that commitment devices can help poor households to overcome time-inconsistency in their preferences.

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 99 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 231-35

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:99:y:2009:i:2:p:231-35
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.99.2.231
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  1. Kremer, Michael Robert & Miguel, Edward A., 2004. "The Illusion of Sustainability," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt94p8w1d7, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  2. Laibson, David, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-77, May.
  3. Nava Ashraf & Dean Karlan & Wesley Yin, 2006. "Tying Odysseus to the Mast: Evidence from a Commitment Savings Product in the Philippines," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(2), pages 635-672, May.
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