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Information and subsidies: Complements or substitutes?

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  • Ashraf, Nava
  • Jack, B. Kelsey
  • Kamenica, Emir

Abstract

Does providing information about a product influence the impact of price subsidies on purchases? This question is particularly relevant for health products in developing countries where both informational campaigns and price subsidies are common policy instruments. We conduct a field experiment in Zambia and find that providing information about a new version of a product significantly increases the impact of price subsidies on take-up. Taken alone, the information manipulation has no significant impact on demand while the price subsidy substantially increases demand. However, the evaluation of either intervention in isolation fails to capture the significant complementarity between the two.

Suggested Citation

  • Ashraf, Nava & Jack, B. Kelsey & Kamenica, Emir, 2013. "Information and subsidies: Complements or substitutes?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 133-139.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:88:y:2013:i:c:p:133-139
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2012.12.031
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Greg Fischer & Dean Karlan & Margaret McConnell & Pia Raffler, 2014. "To Charge or Not to Charge: Evidence from a Health Products Experiment in Uganda," Working Papers 1041, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    2. Papoutsi, Georgia & Nayga, Rodolfo & Lazaridis, Panagiotis & Drichoutis, Andreas, 2013. "Nudging parental health behavior with and without children's pestering power: Fat tax, subsidy or both?," MPRA Paper 52324, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Olivier Body, 2014. "When Is Speech Silver and Silence Golden ?A Field Experiment on an Information Campaign," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2014-32, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    4. Robinson, Scott A. & Rai, Varun, 2015. "Determinants of spatio-temporal patterns of energy technology adoption: An agent-based modeling approach," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 151(C), pages 273-284.
    5. B. Kelsey Jack & Paulina Oliva & Christopher Severen & Elizabeth Walker & Samuel Bell, 2015. "Technology Adoption Under Uncertainty: Take-Up and Subsequent Investment in Zambia," NBER Working Papers 21414, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. repec:eee:jeeman:v:86:y:2017:i:c:p:141-159 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Anja Sautmann & Samuel Brown & Mark Dean, 2016. "Subsidies, Information, and the Timing of Children’s Health Care in Mali," Working Papers 2016-2, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    8. Katherine P. Adams & Travis J. Lybbert & Stephen A. Vosti & Emmanuel Ayifah, 2016. "Using an economic experiment to estimate willingness-to-pay for a new maternal nutrient supplement in Ghana," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 47(5), pages 581-595, September.
    9. 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.
    10. Bejenariu, Simona & Mitrut, Andreea, 2014. "Bridging the Gap for Roma Women: The Effects of a Health Mediation Program on Roma Prenatal Care and Child Health," Working Papers in Economics 590, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    11. Papoutsi, Georgia S. & Nayga, Rodolfo M. & Lazaridis, Panagiotis & Drichoutis, Andreas C., 2015. "Fat tax, subsidy or both? The role of information and children's pester power in food choice," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 196-208.
    12. Suchita Srinivasan, 2016. "The light at the end of the tunnel: the impact of policy on the global diffusion of fluorescent lamps," CIES Research Paper series 45-2016, Centre for International Environmental Studies, The Graduate Institute.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Subsidies; Information; Health;

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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