Using Preference Estimates to Customize Incentives: An Application to Polio Vaccination Drives in Pakistan

68 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2016

See all articles by James Andreoni

James Andreoni

University of California, San Diego (UCSD)

Michael Callen

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Karrar Jaffar

University of Southern California; Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS)

Muhammad Yasir Khan

University of California, Berkeley, Students

Charles Sprenger

University of California, San Diego (UCSD)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 2016

Abstract

We use structural estimates of time preferences to customize incentives for a sample of polio vaccinators during a series of door-to-door immunization drives in Pakistan. Our investigation proceeds in three stages. First, we measure time preferences using intertemporal allocations of vaccinations. Second, we derive the mapping between these structural estimates and individually optimal incentives given a specific policy objective. Third, we experimentally evaluate the effect of matching contract terms to individual discounting patterns in a subsequent experiment with the same vaccinators. This exercise provides a test of the specific point predictions given by structural estimates of time preference. We document present bias among vaccinators and find that tailored contracts achieve the intended policy objective of smoothing intertemporal allocations of effort. The benefits of customized incentives in terms of achieving the policy objective are largest for vaccinators allocating when present bias is relevant to the decision.

Suggested Citation

Andreoni, James and Callen, Michael and Hussain, Karrar and Khan, Muhammad and Sprenger, Charles, Using Preference Estimates to Customize Incentives: An Application to Polio Vaccination Drives in Pakistan (February 2016). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP11137. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2766428

James Andreoni (Contact Author)

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0508
United States

HOME PAGE: http://econ.ucsd.edu/~jandreon/

Michael Callen

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Karrar Hussain

University of Southern California

2250 Alcazar Street
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) ( email )

D.H.A, Lahore Cantt
Lahore, Punjab 54792
Pakistan

Muhammad Khan

University of California, Berkeley, Students ( email )

525 F. Haas School of Business
Berkeley, CA
United States
5104587546 (Phone)

Charles Sprenger

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Mail Code 0502
La Jolla, CA 92093-0112
United States

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