Non-monetary incentives for tobacco prevention among youth in Indonesia

J Health Econ. 2022 May:83:102620. doi: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2022.102620. Epub 2022 Apr 9.


We provide evidence on the effectiveness of a school-based program that uses a non-monetary penalty and regular monitoring to prevent risky behavior among adolescents in Indonesia. The field experiment invited students to sign a pledge to abstain from tobacco use and a similar pledge for parents to monitor their children. To test group incentives, a subset of treated schools also competed against each other for the highest tobacco abstinence rates. We find that the individual pledge increases biochemically verified tobacco abstinence by 5 percentage points. This effect is sustained 3 months after the program ended. School competition has no additional impact on tobacco abstinence. Our findings highlight the effectiveness of non-monetary incentives to curb risky behaviors among adolescents who face limited self-control and peer pressure.

Keywords: Incentives; Randomized controlled trial; Risky behavior; School-based intervention; Tobacco prevention.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Indonesia
  • Motivation*
  • Nicotiana
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • Tobacco Use / prevention & control