IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Can Higher Prices Stimulate Product Use? Evidence from a Field Experiment in Zambia

  • Nava Ashraf
  • James Berry
  • Jesse M. Shapiro

The controversy over whether and how much to charge for health products in the developing world rests, in part, on whether higher prices can increase use, either by targeting distribution to high-use households (a screening effect), or by stimulating use psychologically through a sunk-cost effect. We develop a methodology for separating these two effects. We implement the methodology in a field experiment in Zambia using door-to-door marketing of a home water purification solution. We find that higher prices screen out those who use the product less. By contrast, we find no consistent evidence of sunk-cost effects.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w13247.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13247.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Jul 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Nava Ashraf & James Berry & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2010. "Can Higher Prices Stimulate Product Use? Evidence from a Field Experiment in Zambia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 2383-2413, December.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13247
Note: LS HC
Contact details of provider: Postal:
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.

Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page: http://www.nber.org
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Götte, Lorenz & Huffman, David B. & Fehr, Ernst, 2003. "Loss Aversion and Labor Supply," IZA Discussion Papers 927, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Arkes, Hal R. & Blumer, Catherine, 1985. "The psychology of sunk cost," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 124-140, February.
  3. Stefano DellaVigna & Ulrike Malmendier, 2004. "Contract Design and Self-Control: Theory and Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(2), pages 353-402.
  4. Glenn W. Harrison & John A. List, 2004. "Field Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1009-1055, December.
  5. Dean Karlan & John A. List, 2006. "Does Price Matter in Charitable Giving? Evidence from a Large-Scale Natural Field Experiment," Working Papers 1, The Field Experiments Website.
  6. Laibson, David I. & Gabaix, Xavier, 2006. "Shrouded Attributes, Consumer Myopia, and Information Suppression in Competitive Markets," Scholarly Articles 4554333, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Edward Miguel & Michael Kremer, 2004. "The illusion of sustainability," Natural Field Experiments 00287, The Field Experiments Website.
  8. repec:pri:rpdevs:gamespaper is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Daniel Friedman & Kai Pommerenke & Rajan Lukose & Garret Milam & Bernardo A. Huberman, 2004. "Searching for the Sunk Cost Fallacy," Experimental 0407007, EconWPA.
  10. Dean Karlan, 2004. "Using experimental economics to measure social capital and predict financial decisions," Artefactual Field Experiments 00074, The Field Experiments Website.
  11. Marianne Bertrand & Dean Karlin & Sendhil Mullainathan & Eldar Shafir & Jonathan Zinman, 2005. "What's Psychology Worth? A Field Experiment in the Consumer Credit Market," NBER Working Papers 11892, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Fred Mannering & Clifford Winston, 1985. "A Dynamic Empirical Analysis of Household Vehicle Ownership and Utilization," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 16(2), pages 215-236, Summer.
  13. Dean S. Karlan, 2005. "Using Experimental Economics to Measure Social Capital and Predict Financial Decisions," Working Papers 182, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
  14. Jerry A. Hausman, 1979. "Individual Discount Rates and the Purchase and Utilization of Energy-Using Durables," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 33-54, Spring.
  15. Dean Karlan & Jonathan Zinman, 2009. "Observing Unobservables: Identifying Information Asymmetries With a Consumer Credit Field Experiment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(6), pages 1993-2008, November.
  16. Marianne Bertrand & Dean Karlan & Sendhil Mullainathan & Eldar Shafir & Jonathan Zinman, 2010. "What's Advertising Content Worth? Evidence from a Consumer Credit Marketing Field Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(1), pages 263-306.
  17. Kfir Eliaz & Ran Spiegler, 2006. "Contracting with Diversely Naive Agents," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(3), pages 689-714.
  18. Ran Spiegler, 2005. "Competition over Agents with Boundedly Rational Expectations," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000535, UCLA Department of Economics.
  19. Diamond, P. A. & Mirrlees, J. A., 1978. "A model of social insurance with variable retirement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 295-336, December.
  20. Filmer, Deon & Pritchett, Lant, 1998. "Estimating wealth effects without expenditure data - or tears : with an application to educational enrollments in states of India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1994, The World Bank.
  21. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1986. "Price and Advertising Signals of Product Quality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 796-821, August.
  22. Blackorby, Charles & Donaldson, David, 1988. "Cash versus Kind, Self-selection, and Efficient Transfers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 691-700, September.
  23. Dean S. Karlan & Jonathan Zinman, 2005. "Observing Unobservables: Identifying Information Asymmetries with a Consumer Credit Field Experiment," Working Papers 911, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  24. Prendergast, Canice & Stole, Lars, 1996. "Impetuous Youngsters and Jaded Old-Timers: Acquiring a Reputation for Learning," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(6), pages 1105-34, December.
  25. Parsons, Donald O, 1991. "Self-Screening in Targeted Public Transfer Programs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 859-76, August.
  26. L. Wade, 1988. "Review," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 99-100, July.
  27. Morris, Saul Sutkover & Calogero, Carletto & Hoddinott, John & Christiaensen, Luc J. M., 1999. "Validity of rapid estimates of household wealth and income for health surveys in rural Africa," FCND discussion papers 72, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  28. repec:pri:rpdevs:gamespaper.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
  29. Dye, Ronald A. & Antle, Rick, 1986. "Cost-minimizing welfare programs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 259-265, July.
  30. Dean S. Karlan, 2005. "Using Experimental Economics to Measure Social Capital And Predict Financial Decisions," Working Papers 909, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  31. Heidhues, Paul & Köszegi, Botond, 2005. "The Impact of Consumer Loss Aversion on Pricing," CEPR Discussion Papers 4849, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  32. Richard Steinberg & Burton A. Weisbrod, . "Pricing and Rationing by Nonprofit Organizations with Distributional Objectives," IPR working papers 97-28, Institute for Policy Resarch at Northwestern University.
  33. Ran Spiegler, 2006. "The Market for Quacks," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(4), pages 1113-1131.
  34. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-55, March-Apr.
  35. Dubin, Jeffrey A & McFadden, Daniel L, 1984. "An Econometric Analysis of Residential Electric Appliance Holdings and Consumption," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 345-62, March.
  36. Rebecca L. Thornton, 2008. "The Demand for, and Impact of, Learning HIV Status," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1829-63, December.
  37. A. D. Roy, 1951. "Some Thoughts On The Distribution Of Earnings," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 135-146.
  38. Nichols, Albert L & Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1982. "Targeting Transfers through Restrictions on Recipients," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(2), pages 372-77, May.
  39. Nava Ashraf & Dean Karlan & Wesley Yin, 2006. "Tying Odysseus to the Mast: Evidence From a Commitment Savings Product in the Philippines," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 635-672.
  40. Behrman, Jere R., 1989. "The simple analytics of contraceptive social marketing," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 17(10), pages 1499-1521, October.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

  1. Can Higher Prices Stimulate Product Use? Evidence from a Field Experiment in Zambia (AER 2010) in ReplicationWiki

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13247. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.