Anushka Chawla*, Daniela Horta Sáenz**

phd seminar

Anushka Chawla*, Daniela Horta Sáenz**

The role of family members in the demand for maternal health services: A field experiment in India*
Covid-related worries, cognitive performance, and financial incentives**
Joint with
Pooja Suri*
Timothée Demont, Eva Raiber**

MEGA Salle de conf

MEGA - Salle de conférence

Maison de l'économie et de la gestion d'Aix
424 chemin du viaduc
13080 Aix-en-Provence

Tuesday, February 15 2022| 11:00am to 12:30pm

Kenza Elass: kenza.elass[at]
Camille Hainnaux: camille.hainnaux[at]
Daniela Horta Saenz: daniela.horta-saenz[at]
Jade Ponsard: jade.ponsard[at]


*A growing body of research focuses on family members, neighbours, peers, and the larger community as important sources of health information for young women. However, in traditional societies like those in rural India, women have limited agency over their own health and decision making due to restrictive social norms often imposed by family members such as the mother-in-law. In addition, lack of decision-making power in the household leads to high costs of bargaining for women. We have recently launched a field experiment in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh to explore the role of intergenerational bargaining and communication within the household in order to improve the access of young married women in rural India to maternal health services. Our preliminary baseline data suggest that young women are unsure about good reproductive health practices and rely heavily on their mothers or mothers-in-law, who in turn rely on traditional knowledge. With this in mind, we will randomize whether health information is given to daughters-in-law, or both daughter-in-law and mothers-in-law. Further to understand the role of the community in upholding traditional practices, we will cross-randomize whether the treatment of giving information to households is made common knowledge or not.

**We study the effect of highlighting negative Covid-related topics on cognitive ability under different incentives in a population of French university students. In an online survey in the midst of the pandemic, we confronted participants with an article about the labor market or mental health consequences of the pandemic or one of two control articles and a series of reflective questions about their own situation. Afterwards, in a cognitive performance task, half of the participants received a payout that increases linearly with their performance. For the other half, the payment was only received when a threshold was passed and then increased linearly. The Covid-related topics made participants feel worse and more nervous than the control topics. Yet, we find that there is no average effect on cognitive performance with linear incentives. Coefficients are negative but not significant on average, only the mental health topic has a weak negative effect for some subgroups. However, in the threshold payment scheme, we find that the labor market topic increases performance overall. On the other hand, the mental health topic discourages students with a low baseline ability and encourages those with a medium baseline ability. Our results highlight the importance of the interaction between the type of stress and incentives, as well as baseline cognitive ability.