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The effect of marketing messages and payment over time on willingness to pay for fuel-efficient cookstoves

Theresa Beltramo, Garrick Blalock, David Levine and Andrew Simons

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2015, vol. 118, issue C, 333-345

Abstract: Smoke from inefficient biomass cookstoves contributes to global climate change and kills approximately four million people per year. Cooking technologies, such as manufactured fuel-efficient cookstoves, that mitigate the negative effects of traditional cookstoves exist, but adoption rates are low. The international development community debates whether this low adoption of fuel-efficient cookstoves is due to a lack of adequate product information or due to household financial constraints. We ran Vickery second-price auctions in rural Uganda to elicit willingness to pay for fuel-efficient cookstoves, comparing the effect of informational marketing messages and time payments on willingness to pay. A randomized trial tested the following marketing messages: “This stove can improve health,” “This stove can save time and money,” and both messages combined. None of the messages consistently increased willingness to pay. In a second experiment we compared willingness to pay for two different contracts, one with payment due within a week and one with equal installment payments over 4 weeks. Consistent with household financial constraints, time payments raised willingness to pay by 40%.

Keywords: Willingness to pay; Technology adoption; Household air pollution; Randomized controlled trial; Nontraditional cookstove; Liquidity constraints (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2015.04.025

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Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization is currently edited by Houser, D. and Puzzello, D.

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