Incentivized Peer Referrals for Tuberculosis Screening: Evidence from India
Department of Economics
University of Maryland
Friday, April 12, 2019
Taylor-Hibbard Seminar Room (Rm103)
12:00 pm-1:15 pm
Peer referrals are a common strategy for addressing asymmetric information in contexts such as the labor market. They could be especially valuable for increasing testing and detection of infectious diseases, where peers may have advantages over health workers in both identifying new patients and providing them credible information, but they are rare in that context. In an experiment with 3,182 patients at 122 tuberculosis (TB) treatment centers in India, we nd peers are indeed more eective than health workers in bringing in new suspects for testing, and low-cost incentives of about $US 3 per referral considerably increase the probability that current patients make referrals that result in the testing of new symptomatics and the identication of new TB cases. Peer outreach identies new TB cases at 25%-35% of the cost of outreach by health workers and can be a valuable tool in combating infectious disease.