Price Subsidies, Diagnostic Tests, and Targeting of Malaria Treatment: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial

60 Pages Posted: 31 Mar 2012

See all articles by Jessica Cohen

Jessica Cohen

Harvard University - T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Pascaline Dupas

Stanford University

Simone Schaner

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: March 2012

Abstract

Both under- and over-treatment of communicable diseases are public bads. But efforts to decrease one run the risk of increasing the other. Using rich experimental data on household treatment-seeking behavior in Kenya, we study the implications of this tradeoff for subsidizing life-saving antimalarials sold over-the-counter at retail drug outlets. We show that a very high subsidy (such as the one under consideration by the international community) dramatically increases access, but nearly half of subsidized pills go to patients without malaria. We study two ways to better target subsidized drugs: reducing the subsidy level and introducing rapid malaria tests over-the-counter.

Suggested Citation

Cohen, Jessica and Dupas, Pascaline and Schaner, Simone, Price Subsidies, Diagnostic Tests, and Targeting of Malaria Treatment: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial (March 2012). NBER Working Paper No. w17943. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2031931

Jessica Cohen

Harvard University - T.H. Chan School of Public Health ( email )

677 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA MA 02115
United States

Pascaline Dupas

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Simone Schaner

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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