Distributing subsidized health products through existing health infrastructure could substantially and cost-effectively improve health in sub-Saharan Africa. There is, however, widespread concern that poor governance – in particular, limited health worker accountability – seriously undermines the effectiveness of subsidy programs. We audit targeted bednet distribution programs to quantify the extent of agency problems. We find that around 80% of the eligible receive the subsidy as intended, and up to 15% of subsidies are leaked to ineligible people. Supplementing the program with simple financial or monitoring incentives for health workers does not improve performance further and is thus not cost-effective in this context.

More Research From These Scholars

BFI Working Paper Jun 5, 2018

Parents’ Beliefs About Their Children’s Academic Abilities: Implications for Educational Investments

Rebecca Dizon-Ross
Topics:  K-12 Education
BFI Working Paper Jun 5, 2018

How Does School Accountability Affect Teachers? Evidence from New York City

Rebecca Dizon-Ross
Topics:  Early Childhood Education, K-12 Education, Healthcare
BFI Working Paper Jan 4, 2019

Parents’ Beliefs About Their Children’s Academic Ability: Implications for Educational Investments

Rebecca Dizon-Ross
Topics:  Economic Mobility & Poverty, Early Childhood Education