Prices, Peers, and Perceptions (P3): Improved Cookstove Research in Northern Ghana
by Maxwell Dalaba, Navrongo Health Research Centre, Ghana
Abstract: Low adoption rates of seemingly efficient and utility-enhancing technologies have been observed in a number of cases across a variety of contexts; examples include bed nets, latrines, deworming drugs, and condoms, among many others. Explanations for this phenomenon tend to focus on three key factors: the prices of these technologies and the role of subsidies, the effect of peers and social learning, and the ways in which users’ perceptions of technologies are influenced by different factors and affect subsequent adoption decisions. The aim of this proposal is to investigate the interactions among these three factors in determining adoption of improved cookstoves, a technology with potential health, social, and environmental benefits. To investigate these interactions, we will take advantage of a unique research opportunity to leverage an ongoing NSF-funded study that randomly introduced improved cookstoves to 200 households in the Kassena-Nankana District in Northern Ghana. Briefly, our study design involves offering new stoves at different price levels to groups of households with and without social ties to the households that received stoves as part of this prior study. Through these experiments, we will be able to identify the interacting feedbacks between prices and peer effects on perceptions and beliefs about stoves, as well as adoption and use outcomes across different groups.
Biography: Dr. Maxwell Ayindenaba Dalaba is a trained Health Economist and a Research Fellow at the Navrongo Health Research Centre. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree (Economics and Geography) from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana in 2002, Master of Public Health (health economics) from the University of Cape Town, South Africa in 2009 and PhD in Public Health from the University of Heidelberg, Germany in 2015. Dr. Dalaba’s research career began in 2002 when he joined the Navrongo Health Research centre for his National Service (internship) and was attached to the Female Genital Mutilation Project (FGM). He was subsequently employed as a Research Assistant after the end of his National Service. Dr. Dalaba is currently coordinating two research projects at the NHRC: “Household Out-of-Pocket Health Expenditures Tracking for Disease Specific Health Account and Universal Health Coverage Measure: Developing Household OOP Estimation Methodology” and “Prices, peers and perceptions: Field experiments on technology adoption in the context of improved cookstoves”. Dr. Dalaba’s main research interests include access to health care, environmental health, health care financing, cost of illness, economic evaluation of health care and health systems.