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Movies, Margins and Marketing: Encouraging the Adoption of Iron-Fortified Salt

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  • Abhijit Banerjee
  • Sharon Barnhardt
  • Esther Duflo

Abstract

A set of randomized experiments shed light on how markets and information influence household decisions to adopt nutritional innovations. Of 400 Indian villages, we randomly assigned half to an intervention where all shopkeepers were offered the option to sell a new salt, fortified with both iron and iodine (and not just iodine) at 50% discount. Within treatment villages, we conducted additional interventions: an increase in retailer margin (for one or several shopkeepers), the screening of an “edutainment” movie on the benefits of double-fortified salt, a flyer informing households of the product’s availability, and free distribution to a subset of households. We find that two interventions – showing the short film and offering an incentive to all shopkeepers – significantly increased usage: both by 5.5 percentage points, or over 50%, over take up without intervention, three years after launch. For comparison, only about half of households given the salt for free actually consumed it.

Suggested Citation

  • Abhijit Banerjee & Sharon Barnhardt & Esther Duflo, 2015. "Movies, Margins and Marketing: Encouraging the Adoption of Iron-Fortified Salt," NBER Working Papers 21616, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21616
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Robert Jensen & Emily Oster, 2009. "The Power of TV: Cable Television and Women's Status in India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1057-1094.
    2. Ashraf, Nava & Bandiera, Oriana & Jack, Kelsey, 2012. "No margin, no mission? A Field Experiment on Incentives for Pro-Social Tasks," CEPR Discussion Papers 8834, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Eliana La Ferrara & Alberto Chong & Suzanne Duryea, 2012. "Soap Operas and Fertility: Evidence from Brazil," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 1-31, October.
    4. repec:cup:apsrev:v:103:y:2009:i:04:p:622-644_99 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Usdin, S. & Scheepers, E. & Goldstein, Susan & Japhet, Garth, 2005. "Achieving social change on gender-based violence: A report on the impact evaluation of Soul City's fourth series," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(11), pages 2434-2445, December.
    6. Abhijit Banerjee & Sharon Barnhardt & Esther Duflo, 2014. "Nutrition, Iron Deficiency Anemia, and the Demand for Iron-Fortified Salt: Evidence from an Experiment in Rural Bihar," NBER Chapters,in: Discoveries in the Economics of Aging, pages 343-384 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Pascaline Dupas, 2009. "What Matters (and What Does Not) in Households' Decision to Invest in Malaria Prevention?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 224-230, May.
    8. Nanda Kumar & Surendra Rajiv & Abel Jeuland, 2001. "Effectiveness of Trade Promotions: Analyzing the Determinants of Retail Pass Through," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 20(4), pages 382-404, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Eliana La Ferrara, 2016. "Mass Media And Social Change: Can We Use Television To Fight Poverty?," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 791-827, August.
    2. Giammarco Daniele & Sulagna Mookerjee & Denni Tommasi, 2018. "Informational shocks and street-food safety: A field study in urban India," Working Papers ECARES 2018-20, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    3. repec:aea:jecper:v:31:y:2017:i:4:p:73-102 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Banerjee, Abhijit & Barnhardt, Sharon & Duflo, Esther, 2018. "Can iron-fortified salt control anemia? Evidence from two experiments in rural Bihar," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 127-146.
    5. Krämer, Marion & Kumar, Santosh & Vollmer, Sebastian, 2018. "Improving Children Health and Cognition: Evidence from School-Based Nutrition Intervention in India," GLO Discussion Paper Series 203, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    6. Abhijit Banerjee & Rukmini Banerji & James Berry & Esther Duflo & Harini Kannan & Shobhini Mukerji & Marc Shotland & Michael Walton, 2017. "From Proof of Concept to Scalable Policies: Challenges and Solutions, with an Application," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 31(4), pages 73-102, Fall.
    7. Marion Krämer & Santosh Kumar & Sebastian Vollmer, 2018. "Impact of delivering iron-fortified salt through a school feeding program on child health, education and cognition: Evidence from a randomized controlled trial in rural India," GlobalFood Discussion Papers 269560, Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, GlobalFood, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development.
    8. Pascaline Dupas & Edward Miguel, 2016. "Impacts and Determinants of Health Levels in Low-Income Countries," NBER Working Papers 22235, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development

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