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Learning, Misallocation, and Technology Adoption: Evidence from New Malaria Therapy in Tanzania

Author

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  • Achyuta Adhvaryu

    () (School of Public Health, Yale University)

Abstract

I show that malaria misdiagnosis, common in resource-poor settings, decreases the expected effectiveness of an important new therapy–since only a fraction of treated individuals have malaria–and reduces the rate of learning via increased noise. Using pilot program data from Tanzania, I exploit variation in the location and timing of survey enumeration to construct reference groups composed of randomly chosen, geographically and temporally proximate acutely ill individuals. I show that learning is stronger and adoption rates are higher in villages with more misdiagnosis. Subsidizing diagnostic tools or improving initial targeting of new technologies may thus accelerate uptake through learning.

Suggested Citation

  • Achyuta Adhvaryu, 2011. "Learning, Misallocation, and Technology Adoption: Evidence from New Malaria Therapy in Tanzania," Working Papers 1000, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  • Handle: RePEc:egc:wpaper:1000
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    File URL: http://www.econ.yale.edu/growth_pdf/cdp1000.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Michael Kremer & Edward Miguel, 2007. "The Illusion of Sustainability," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1007-1065.
    2. Chamley,Christophe P., 2004. "Rational Herds," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521530927, July - De.
    3. Oriana Bandiera & Imran Rasul, 2006. "Social Networks and Technology Adoption in Northern Mozambique," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(514), pages 869-902, October.
    4. Hoyt Bleakley, 2010. "Malaria Eradication in the Americas: A Retrospective Analysis of Childhood Exposure," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 1-45, April.
    5. Adrienne M. Lucas, 2010. "Malaria Eradication and Educational Attainment: Evidence from Paraguay and Sri Lanka," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 46-71, April.
    6. 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.
    7. Jessica Cohen & Pascaline Dupas, 2010. "Free Distribution or Cost-Sharing? Evidence from a Randomized Malaria Prevention Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(1), pages 1-45.
    8. Chamley,Christophe P., 2004. "Rational Herds," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521824019, July - De.
    9. Hong, Sok Chul, 2007. "The Burden of Early Exposure to Malaria in the United States, 1850–1860: Malnutrition and Immune Disorders," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 67(04), pages 1001-1035, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jessica Cohen & Pascaline Dupas & Simone Schaner, 2015. "Price Subsidies, Diagnostic Tests, and Targeting of Malaria Treatment: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(2), pages 609-645, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    technology adoption; learning; malaria; Tanzania;

    JEL classification:

    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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