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What Impedes Efficient Adoption of Products? Evidence from Randomized Sales Offers for Fuel-Efficient Cookstoves in Uganda

  • Author(s): David, Levine I.
  • Beltramo, Theresa
  • Blalock, Garrick
  • Cotterman, Carolyn
  • Simons, Andrew
  • et al.
Abstract

Consumers’ failure to adopt products with health and wellbeing benefits apparently far greater than their costs has consistentlychallenged the widespread use of health-improving technologies. A sales offer combining free trial, time payments, and the option of returning the product can overcome barriers such as liquidityconstraints and poor information about benefits and usability. We tested this sales offer (and alternatives) in an experiment with a fuel-efficient charcoal stove in urban Uganda and a fuel-efficient wood stove in rural Uganda. This offer dramatically increased uptake—in urban Kampala, from 4 to 46%, and in rural Mbarara, from 5 to 57%.

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