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Short‐Run Subsidies and Long‐Run Adoption of New Health Products: Evidence From a Field Experiment

  • Pascaline Dupas

Short‐run subsidies for health products are common in poor countries. How do they affect long‐run adoption? A common fear among development practitioners is that one‐off subsidies may negatively affect long‐run adoption through reference‐dependence: People might anchor around the subsidized price and be unwilling to pay more for the product later. But for experience goods, one‐off subsidies could also boost long‐run adoption through learning. This paper uses data from a two‐stage randomized pricing experiment in Kenya to estimate the relative importance of these effects for a new, improved antimalarial bed net. Reduced form estimates show that a one‐time subsidy has a positive impact on willingness to pay a year later inherit. To separately identify the learning and anchoring effects, we estimate a parsimonious experience‐good model. Estimation results show a large, positive learning effect but no anchoring. We black then discuss the types of products and the contexts inherit for which these results may apply.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.3982/ECTA9508
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Article provided by Econometric Society in its journal Econometrica.

Volume (Year): 82 (2014)
Issue (Month): 1 (01)
Pages: 197-228

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Handle: RePEc:wly:emetrp:v:82:y:2014:i:1:p:197-228
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  1. Oriana Bandiera & Imran Rasul, 2002. "Social Networks and Technology Adoption in Northern Mozambique," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 35, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
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  4. Jessica Cohen & Pascaline Dupas, 2010. "Free Distribution or Cost-Sharing? Evidence from a Randomized Malaria Prevention Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(1), pages 1-45, February.
  5. Uri Simonsohn & George Loewenstein, 2006. "Mistake #37: The Effect of Previously Encountered Prices on Current Housing Demand," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(508), pages 175-199, 01.
  6. Foster, Andrew D & Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1995. "Learning by Doing and Learning from Others: Human Capital and Technical Change in Agriculture," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1176-1209, December.
  7. Emily Oster & Rebecca Thornton, 2009. "Determinants of Technology Adoption: Private Value and Peer Effects in Menstrual Cup Take-Up," NBER Working Papers 14828, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Heffetz, Ori & Shayo, Moses, 2009. "How Large Are Non-Budget-Constraint Effects Of Prices On Demand?," Working Papers 53882, American Association of Wine Economists.
  9. Conley, T. G., 1999. "GMM estimation with cross sectional dependence," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 1-45, September.
  10. Dirk Bergemann & Juuso Välimäki, 2006. "Dynamic Pricing of New Experience Goods," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(4), pages 713-743, August.
  11. Giuseppe Moscarini & Lones Smith, 2001. "The Optimal Level of Experimentation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(6), pages 1629-1644, November.
  12. Munshi, Kaivan, 2004. "Social learning in a heterogeneous population: technology diffusion in the Indian Green Revolution," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 185-213, February.
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