The field of development is missing a measurement that is crucial to the appropriate targeting, design, and timing of policies and interventions – a precise measurement of individual opportunity cost of time.
Project Vision and Strategy
In this project, we aim to provide a reliable estimate of individual value of time (VoT) in low-‐income regions of Africa and Asia using a mobile-‐based incentivized task platform that matches task duration with payment the user is willing to receive. Through the same platform, we also achieve (1) the provision of income for information tasks to the poor, and (2) access to valuable information for companies, organizations, and governments to guide policy and business decisions. Customers are agents who create and finance information tasks and users are mobile phone users who will receive an alert on their phones with a request to complete a certain task along with information on the monetary incentive offered for that task, and the expected duration of the task. By randomizing the duration and payment offered, the format of the task, its content and complexity, and by looking across differences in responses across user demographics, earnings, income and local economic, environmental and political conditions we can derive a reliable estimate of VoT and its heterogeneities across important theoretical and empirical parameters.
The team has independently developed hardware and software that is working. And, the team has negotiated a collaboration with an existing research project in Siaya Kenya to conduct a population representative baseline survey of 700 to 1500 households.
- Professor Tapan Parikh, School of Information, UC Berkeley