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Does Price Affect the Demand for Information about New Health Technologies? Evidence from a Field Experiment in Nigeria

Edward N. Okeke, Amalavoyal Chari and Clement A. Adepiti

Economic Development and Cultural Change, 2016, vol. 64, issue 3, 437 - 469

Abstract: We study how prices influence the demand for information about a new preventative health technology. We conducted a field experiment in Nigeria where women were offered the opportunity to get screened for cervical cancer (at baseline 2/3 of women had no knowledge of cervical cancer screening). Field staff made house calls to give women information about the test and also distributed vouchers that randomly varied the price of screening at the point of service. We find an inverse U-shaped relationship between prices and the demand for information: going from zero to a small positive price increased the demand for information about the test, but increasing the price further (by 100%) resulted in a net decrease in the demand for information. We argue that these results have interesting implications for the debate about the pricing of new health technologies in developing countries.

Date: 2016
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Handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:doi:10.1086/684934