Do Free Goods Stick to Poor Households? Experimental Evidence on Insecticide Treated Bednets
Summary If the market allocates goods to those willing and able to pay the most for them, efforts to target durable health goods such as insecticide-treated bednets (ITNs) to poor populations may prove ineffective, with the poor reselling donated goods to the non-poor who value them more highly. However, low market demand may be due to liquidity constraints rather than low valuation of nets. The endowment effect also militates against the resale of in-kind transfers. We quantify these two effects through a field experiment in Uganda. Our results indicate that very few nets will be resold by recipient households.
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