Determinants of Technology Adoption:

Peer Effects in Menstrual Cup Take-Up



Determinants of Technology Adoption: Peer Effects in Menstrual Cup Take-Up


Emily Oster (University of Chicago), Rebecca Thornton (University of Michigan)




Study Location

Key Words

Nepal, menstrual cup, mooncup, school girls, peer impact, behavioral studies

Type of Research

Peer-reviewed, Qualitative research

Major Take-Aways

•We found strong evidence that peer exposure to the cup drives adoption. Girls with more treatment friends adopt the cup more quickly. Our analysis of mechanisms suggests that peers are most important for individuals to learning about how to use the product, rather than influencing individuals wanting to use the product. The results here may have policy implications which go beyond the particular case of the menstrual cup. In many cases policymakers face choices about how best to distribute technologies in order to maximize adoption. The results here indicate that the appropriate targeting is likely to depend on specific characteristics of the product (in particular, how much variation there is in the likelihood of success) which could be a function of underlying abilities or in the difficulty of learning the technology.

Identified Research Gaps

More data on patterns of adoption (in particular, collecting more information about the way that individuals are deciding whether or not to adopt) may be valuable in understanding the mechanisms through which these effects operate.

Sound Bite

  • Boys had to wade through myths and mysteries over the duration of their childhoods until they came to a place on their own where they felt that they finally understood what a period was.
  • Many existing studies concerning menstrual management interventions are highly biased, according to a recent systematic review published in 2016.
  • Larger, randomised trials are needed to determine the impact of MHM interventions.