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Bednets, Information, and Malaria in Orissa

Mar 2009
Working Paper
08-025
By  Brian Blackburn, Aprajit Mahajan, Alessandro Tarozzi, Joanne Yoong
This paper studies the identification and estimation of a basic model of technology adoption using specifically collected information on subjective beliefs and expectations to identify key model parameters. We discuss identification with both non-parametrically and parametrically specified utility as well as parametric and semi-parametric specifications for unobserved heterogeneity. We propose parametric and semi-parametric estimation methods to recover underlying preferences and use the model to study the adoption of Insecticide Treated Nets (ITNs) among poor households in rural India. We carry out counterfactual exercises to examine the eects of price and belief changes on net ownership decisions. The results suggest that net purchase decisions are relatively insensitive to changes from current prices and beliefs. The methods proposes here should have applicability to other discrete choice settings with non-linear indices.