Nudging Households to Take Up Health Insurance: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Burkina Faso

29 Pages Posted: 8 May 2017

See all articles by Fadima Bocoum

Fadima Bocoum

Institute de Recherche en Sciences de Santé (IRSS)

Michael Grimm

Erasmus University Rotterdam; University of Passau; IZA; DIW Berlin

Renate Hartwig

University of Passau

Nathalie Zongo

Association Songui Manégré - Aide au développement Endogène (ASMADE)

Abstract

In this paper we analyze the impact of a randomized information package on the understanding and uptake of community based health insurance. The information package consists of a detailed brochure which is distributed to households through home visits, a video also presented in people's homes and a personalized phone reminder. Overall, we find significant treatment effects on insurance uptake at the margin, although insurance uptake is low in general. We also find evidence for a better understanding of insurance principles among treated households, in particular in poorer households and in households with literate household heads. Finally, we see that treated households share the information they received with their neighbors and this also has positive effects on their understanding of insurance principles. We find further suggestive evidence that information sharing remains locally concentrated and does not surpass a radius of 1 km. Our findings contribute to the understanding how knowledge about the functioning of insurance can be enhanced in a context where the concept of insurance is largely unknown and where strong cultural beliefs prevail, and eventually, how insurance uptake can be increased, although the latter may take more time.

Keywords: health insurance, take-up, encouragement design, learning, financial education

JEL Classification: D83, G22, I13, M31, O33

Suggested Citation

Bocoum, Fadima and Grimm, Michael and Hartwig, Renate and Zongo, Nathalie, Nudging Households to Take Up Health Insurance: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Burkina Faso. IZA Discussion Paper No. 10744. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2964133

Fadima Bocoum (Contact Author)

Institute de Recherche en Sciences de Santé (IRSS)

03 B.P. 7192
Ouagadougou, 03
Burkina Faso

Michael Grimm

Erasmus University Rotterdam ( email )

Kortenaerkade 12
P.O. Box 29776
The Hague, 2502LT
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.iss.nl

University of Passau ( email )

Innstrasse 29
Passau, 94032
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.wiwi.uni-passau.de/grimm.html

IZA ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

DIW Berlin ( email )

Mohrenstraße 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany

Renate Hartwig

University of Passau

Innstrasse 27
Passau, 94032
Germany

Nathalie Zongo

Association Songui Manégré - Aide au développement Endogène (ASMADE)

Ouagadougou
Burkina Faso

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