If you have a magic bullet you want everyone to use, how much do you charge for it? Six dollars? Fifty cents? Nothing? The price of a malaria-preventing bed net in Africa is a matter of fierce debate among development experts. On the one hand, someone who buys the net should be more likely to use it than someone who gets it free. On the other hand, free nets should find their way into more households. When the goal is maximum coverage, “it’s not enough to say charging a positive price makes...

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