Summary of the paper
Is low input use by poor, smallholder farmers caused by time-inconsistent behavior or by limited ability to buy inputs? Are input subsidies the best solution to stimulate input demand or are there smarter solutions?These issues are investigated by combining survey data, stated preference questions, and randomized experiments in Malawi. The demand for fertilizer at harvest time and at planting time, farm gate shadow prices for fertilizer, and the gap between the willingness-to-accept (WTA) and willingness-to-pay (WTP) prices for a standard input package were investigated. Significant effects of timing and of cash constraints were found, suggesting the possibility that smarter designs exist, such as distribution of smaller packages from harvest time to planting time.