Targeting health incentives in India


Published 06.09.23

Personalising schemes which incentivise exercise substantially increases their performance compared to one-size-fits-all approaches

Read "Mechanism Design for Personalized Policy: A Field Experiment Incentivizing Exercise" by Rebecca Dizon-Ross and Ariel Zucker here.

Promoting exercise and healthy lifestyles is widely recognised as crucial to addressing the health and economic consequences of diabetes and hypertension, which represent significant and growing health crises in the developing world. Policymakers and insurers worldwide are increasingly offering incentives for exercise and other healthy behaviors and, in theory, personalising these health incentive schemes could increase their effectiveness but may make them harder and more costly to implement. In this episode of VoxDevTalks, Ariel Zucker discusses new research with Rebecca Dizon-Ross which uses a field experiment to personalise incentives for exercise among 6,800 adults with diabetes and hypertension in urban India. They find that personalising incentives (with an incentive-compatible choice menu) substantially improves programme performance, increasing the treatment effect of incentives on exercise by 80% without increasing programme costs relative to a one-size-fits-all benchmark.