Movies, Margins and Marketing: Encouraging the Adoption of Iron-Fortified Salt

28 Pages Posted: 12 Oct 2015

See all articles by Abhijit V. Banerjee

Abhijit V. Banerjee

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics

Sharon Barnhardt

CESS Nuffield - FLAME University; Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL)

Esther Duflo

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics; Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD)

Date Written: October 2015

Abstract

A set of randomized experiments shed light on how markets and information influence household decisions to adopt nutritional innovations. Of 400 Indian villages, we randomly assigned half to an intervention where all shopkeepers were offered the option to sell a new salt, fortified with both iron and iodine (and not just iodine) at 50% discount. Within treatment villages, we conducted additional interventions: an increase in retailer margin (for one or several shopkeepers), the screening of an “edutainment” movie on the benefits of double-fortified salt, a flyer informing households of the product’s availability, and free distribution to a subset of households. We find that two interventions – showing the short film and offering an incentive to all shopkeepers – significantly increased usage: both by 5.5 percentage points, or over 50%, over take up without intervention, three years after launch. For comparison, only about half of households given the salt for free actually consumed it.

Suggested Citation

Banerjee, Abhijit V. and Barnhardt, Sharon and Duflo, Esther, Movies, Margins and Marketing: Encouraging the Adoption of Iron-Fortified Salt (October 2015). NBER Working Paper No. w21616. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2672730

Abhijit V. Banerjee (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics ( email )

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Sharon Barnhardt

CESS Nuffield - FLAME University ( email )

Pune, Maharashtra, 411215
India
9962072412 (Phone)

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Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) ( email )

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77 Massachusetts Avenue
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Esther Duflo

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics ( email )

50 Memorial Drive
Room E52-544
Cambridge, MA 02139
United States
617-258-7013 (Phone)
617-253-6915 (Fax)

Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) ( email )

Cambridge, MA
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.povertyactionlab.org/

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD) ( email )

Duke University
Durham, NC 90097
United States

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