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Renate Hartwig - Research Summary

University of Namur

Nudging households to take up health insurance: Evidence from a randomized experiment in Burkina Faso

In this paper we analyze the impact of a randomized information package on the understanding and take-up of community based health insurance. The information package consists of a detailed brochure which is distributed to households through home visits, a video also presented in people’s homes and a personalized phone reminder. Overall, we find significant treatment effects on insurance uptake at the margin, although insurance uptake is low in general. We also find evidence for a better understanding of insurance principles among treated households, in particular in poorer households and in households with literate household heads. Finally, we see that treated households share the information they received with their neighbors and this also has positive effects on their understanding of insurance principles. Our findings contribute to the understanding how knowledge about the functioning of insurance can be enhanced and eventually, how insurance uptake can be increased, although the latter may take more time.