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

  • Achyuta Adhvaryu

    ()

    (School of Public Health, Yale University)

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    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.

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    File URL: http://www.econ.yale.edu/growth_pdf/cdp1000.pdf
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    Paper provided by Economic Growth Center, Yale University in its series Working Papers with number 1000.

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    Length: 34 pages
    Date of creation: Sep 2011
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:egc:wpaper:1000
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    Web page: http://www.econ.yale.edu/

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    1. 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.
    2. Bandiera, Oriana & Rasul, Imran, 2002. "Social Networks and Technology Adoption in Northern Mozambique," CEPR Discussion Papers 3341, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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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