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Incentives for Life

a PSC Small Fund Research Project

Investigator:   Raj Arunachalam

We propose a pilot study of a project targeting the spread of sexually transmitted infections in Ecuador
by testing the causal effect of offering sex workers economic incentives to practice safe sex. Our
approach builds on existing research in four fundamental ways: (1) using economic incentives—
namely, high-frequency cash transfers conditional on disease status—to alter behavior; (2) testing
causal effects using a randomized controlled study design; (3) conditioning transfers on biological
markers of disease rather than self-reported survey responses; and (4) enabling cost-benefit analysis
by testing the conditional cash transfer against conditions that mimic existing interventions elsewhere.

Funding Period: 01/01/2009 to 06/30/2010

Country of Focus: Ecuador

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