NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Pedro Vicente

Nova School of Business and Economics
Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Campus de Carcavelos
Rua da Holanda, 1
2775-405 Carcavelos
Portugal

E-Mail: pedro.vicente@novasbe.pt
Institutional Affiliation: Universidade Nova de Lisboa

NBER Working Papers and Publications

August 2018Keep It Simple: A Field Experiment on Information Sharing in Social Networks
with Cátia Batista, Marcel Fafchamps: w24908
SMS information campaigns are increasingly used for policy. To investigate their effectiveness, we conduct a lab-in-the-field experiment to study information sharing through mobile phone messages. Subjects are rural households in Mozambique who have access to mobile money. In the base treatment, subjects receive an SMS containing information on how to redeem a voucher. They can share this information with other exogeneously assigned subjects. We find that few participants redeem the voucher. They nonetheless share it with others and many share information they do not use themselves. Information is shared more when communication is anonymous and we find no evidence of homophily in information sharing. We introduce treatments to vary the cost of sending a message, shame those who do not send...
 
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