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The Combined Role of Subsidy and Discussion Intervention in Demand for a Stigmatized Products

Author

Listed:
  • Vinish Shrestha

    (Department of Economics, Towson University)

  • Rashesh Shrestha

    (Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA))

Abstract

This paper studies the joint role of subsidization and group discussion intervention in increasing the demand for sanitary pads – a product that is widely available but whose demand may be curtailed due to the psychological cost associated with menstrual stigmatization. The study deploys a field experiment in Nepal to randomly allocate discount coupons of various values so that participants face exogeneous variation in the effective price of sanitary pads. In addition, a randomly selected group of women in the sample participate in menstrual health-related group discussion intervention. The findings suggest that an increase in subsidy level increases the probability of adoption across both groups of women – those receiving only a subsidy and those participating in the discussion intervention coupled with a subsidy. Also, women participating in the discussion intervention have a higher adoption rate. The effects of group discussion intervention are concentrated among women with high psychological cost, whose purchase decisions are more likely to be affected by societal stigma. The results suggest that combining a subsidy with group discussion could provide a cost-effective strategy to increase the adoption of health technology whose demand is constrained by social norms.

Suggested Citation

  • Vinish Shrestha & Rashesh Shrestha, 2018. "The Combined Role of Subsidy and Discussion Intervention in Demand for a Stigmatized Products," Working Papers 2018-05, Towson University, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2023.
  • Handle: RePEc:tow:wpaper:2018-05
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    File URL: http://webapps.towson.edu/cbe/economics/workingpapers/2018-05.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Price subsidies; societal stigma and awareness; estimating elasticity; menstrual health.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • I26 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Returns to Education
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • 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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