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Time Inconsistency, Expectations and Technology Adoption: The Case of Insecticide Treated Nets

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  • Alessandro Tarozzi
  • Aprajit Mahajan

Abstract

Economists have recently argued that time inconsistency may play a central role in explaining inter-temporal behavior, particularly among poor households. However, time-preference parameters are typically not identified in standard dynamic choice models and little is known about the fraction of inconsistent agents in the population. We formulate a dynamic discrete choice model in an unobservedly heterogeneous population of possibly time-inconsistent agents motivated by specifically collected information combined with a field intervention in rural India. We identify and estimate all time-preference parameters as well as the population fractions of time-consistent and "naive" and "sophisticated" time-inconsistent agents. We estimate that time-inconsistent agents account for more than half of the population and that "sophisticated" inconsistent agents are considerably more present-biased than their "naive" counterparts. We also examine whether there are other differences across types (e.g. in risk and cost preferences) and find that these differences are small relative to the differences in time preferences.

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandro Tarozzi & Aprajit Mahajan, 2011. "Time Inconsistency, Expectations and Technology Adoption: The Case of Insecticide Treated Nets," Working Papers 11-14, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:duk:dukeec:11-14
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    Cited by:

    1. Hanming Fang & Yang Wang, 2015. "Estimating Dynamic Discrete Choice Models With Hyperbolic Discounting, With An Application To Mammography Decisions," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 56, pages 565-596, May.
    2. Álvarez, Begoña & Vera-Hernández, Marcos, 2013. "Exploiting subjective information to understand impoverished children's use of health care," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1194-1204.
    3. repec:eee:jeborg:v:140:y:2017:i:c:p:35-55 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Anett John (née Hofmann), 2014. "When Commitment Fails - Evidence from a Regular Saver Product in the Philippines," STICERD - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers Series 55, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    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. Mark Dean & Anja Sautmann, 2014. "Credit Constraints and the Measurement of Time Preferences," Working Papers 2014-1, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    7. Alberto Bisin & Kyle Hyndman, 2014. "Present-Bias, Procrastination and Deadlines in a Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 19874, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Pamela Giustinelli, 2011. "Group Decision Making with Uncertain Outcomes: Unpacking Child-Parent Choices of High School Tracks," Working Papers 2011-030, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    9. Yilma, Zelalem & van Kempen, Luuk & de Hoop, Thomas, 2012. "A perverse ‘net’ effect? Health insurance and ex-ante moral hazard in Ghana," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 138-147.
    10. Gyrd-Hansen, Dorte & Kjær, Trine, 2015. "Government interventions to aid choice: Help to self-help or paternalism?," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 119(7), pages 874-881.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Malaria; Expectations; Bednets; Identi cation; Dynamic Programming; Discrete Choice; Time Inconsistency;

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty

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