Cash on delivery: Results of a randomized experiment to promote maternal health care in Kenya
In an experimental setting in Kenya, we show that certain financial and informational interventions delivered over the mobile phone network can be highly effective in boosting facility delivery rates of poor, rural women. Vouchers covering the full cost of care increased facility delivery rates by one-third, but a small copayment reduced the effect to almost zero. Cash transfers sent over the mobile network and labeled as transport subsidies, had similarly large effects only if they were conditional on delivering in a facility. By contrast, unconditional transfers had no effect on health care utilization. In contrast, we find a government policy that simply made care free at the point of service had little effect on demand.
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