CIRJE-F-1039 "Using Preference Estimates to Customize Incentives: An Application to Polio Vaccination Drives in Pakistan"
Author Name

Andreoni, James, Michael Callen, Karrar Hussain, Muhammad Yasir Khan and Charles Sprenger

Date February 2017
Full Paper   PDF file 

We use structural estimates of time preferences to customize incentives for a sample of polio vaccinators in Lahore, Pakistan. We measure time preferences using intertemporal allocations of effort, and derive the mapping between these structural estimates and individually optimized incentives. We evaluate the effect of matching contract terms to discounting parameters in a subsequent experiment with the same vaccinators. This exercise provides a test of the specific point predictions given by structural estimates of discounting parameters. We demonstrate that tailoring contract terms to individual discounting moves allocation behavior significantly towards the intended objective.