“Using Preference Parameter Estimates to Tailor Incentives: Evidence from Polio Vaccination Drives in Pakistan”

Last Wednesday, February 18th, the NOVAFRICA Center welcomed Michael Callen, from the Harvard Kennedy School who presented his work on how to optimize public sector wage contracts in Pakistan.

The research project, funded by the IGC, proposes a set of technological and incentive contract innovations aimed at making vaccination efforts more cost-effective. Eliminating polio in Pakistan is a central global public health challenge, and increasing vaccination coverage promises tremendous long run economic benefits; eradication permanently eliminates the health and public expenditure burdens related to the disease.

One policy option to ensure that vaccinators don’t misreport their activities is to utilize pay-for-performance contracts, which are widely viewed as providing an important means of improving public sector performance. In their paper, the authors test standard pay-for-performance contracts and examine whether modifying pay-for-performance contracts to reflect differences in time preferences, a design they call preference-tailored contracts, can improve performance.

For further information see here.