Time goes by so slowly (for those who wait): a field experiment in health care | Latin American Economic Review

Sofía Garrido & Emilio Gutiérrez exploit a unique field experiment to recover the willingness to pay (WTP) for shorter waiting times at a cataract detection clinic in Mexico City, and compare the results with those obtained through a hypothetical dichotomous choice questionnaire. The WTP to avoid a minute of wait obtained from the field experiment ranges from 0.59 to 0.82 Mexican pesos (1 USD = 12.5 Mexican pesos at the time of the survey), while that from the hypothetical choice experiment ranges from 0.33 to 0.48 Mexican pesos. WTP to avoid the wait is lower for lower income individuals, and it is larger the more accurately the announced expected waiting time matches the true values. Finally, we find evidence that the marginal disutility of waiting is not constant.

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Latin American Economic Review aims to be the leading general interest journal on topics relevant to Latin America. The journal welcomes high-quality theoretical and quantitative papers on economic, social and political-economy issues with a regional focus. Articles presenting new data bases or describing structural reforms within a rigorous theoretical framework will also be considered. A few (illustrative) examples of topics that may be of special interest to this journal include: inflation, informal sector, corruption, crime, drug policy, unions, social exclusion, price controls, energy and environmental policy, natural resources, and technology transfer.