Micro-Loans, Insecticide-Treated Bednets, and Malaria: Evidence From a Randomized Controlled Trial in Orissa, India

Recognition Program

Authors: Alessandro Tarozzi, Aprajit Mahajan, Brian G Blackburn, Dan Kopf, Lakshmi Krishnan and Joanne Yoong

American Economic Review, Vol. 104, No 7, 1909--1941, January, 2014

We describe findings from the first large-scale cluster randomized controlled trial in a developing country that evaluates the uptake of a health-protecting technology, insecticide-treated bednets (ITNs), through micro-consumer loans, as compared to free distribution and control conditions. Despite a relatively high price, 52 percent of sample households purchased ITNs, highlighting the role of liquidity constraints in explaining earlier low adoption rates. We find mixed evidence of improvements in malaria indices. We interpret the results and their implications within the debate about cost sharing, sustainability and liquidity constraints in public health initiatives in developing countries.

This paper is acknowledged by the Barcelona GSE Research Recognition Program