AEA RCT Registry currently lists 735 studies with locations in 93 countries.

Most Recently Registered Trials

  • The Nuts and Bolts of SMS for Parental Engagement
    Last registered on June 26, 2016

    A growing education literature suggests that supporting parents through text messages (SMS) can positively impact students’ behavior and educational attainment. While those studies highlight the potential of text messages for producing cost-effective educational results, there is limited evidence on the optimal design of SMS campaigns. What it the optimal frequency of texting, so as to most effectively capture parents’ attention without saturating it? At what time should messages be sent? Should parents get messages always at the same time? Is interactive content more effective? The answers to those questions are critical as governments and international organizations consider scaling up successful SMS interventions. This paper cross-randomizes different features of the design of a ty...

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  • The Psychological Effects of Poverty on Parenting
    Last registered on June 26, 2016

    A growing body of evidence suggests that parents play a crucial role in shaping their children’s behavior and performance in school. In fact, differences in parental inputs are viewed as an important cause of intergenerational inequality. This paper studies how poverty may impose a psychological tax on parenting, generating a poverty trap even on the absence of binding credit constraints for educational investments. There is reason to think that this may be the case. While low-cost interventions have been shown to significantly increase parental engagement and students’ outcomes, such interventions tend to have significantly lower or no effects among minorities (black families in Chicago, in Fryer, Levitt and List, 2015, and Chinese families in San Francisco, in York and Loeb, 2014). On...

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  • What Is It About Communicating With Parents?
    Last registered on June 26, 2016

    While there is increasing evidence that enhancing the communication between schools and parents significantly improves students’ performance, less is known about what mechanisms drive those effects. Is it because, by providing parents with information about their children’s effort, communication primarily alleviates the moral hazard problem between parents and children (Burztyn and Coff, 2008)? Or is it because parents have limited attention, and communication makes parenting “top of mind”? This paper attempts to decompose the effects of communicating with parents into those two mechanisms. Specifically, we investigate whether informing parents about their children’s attendance, lateness and assignment completion, improves students’ outcomes above and beyond the effects of communicatio...

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  • Performance effects of managerial discretion
    Last registered on June 24, 2016

    Understanding the costs and benefits of discretionary compared to rule-based decision-making is at the core of organizational economics. We set up a field experiment in a network of 241 supermarkets to generate causally interpretable evidence on the trade-offs involved. Consider a team headed by a store manager M who reports to his principal P. M observes both the aggregate output of the team and individual contributions of its members, whereas P observes only the aggregate output. Should P distribute the reward equally between the team members, thus ignoring M's knowledge of the members' individual contributions, or should P give M the discretion to distribute the reward? We will allow the managers in randomly selected stores to decide on the bonus distribution within their sto...

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  • How Does Economic Status Affect Social Preferences?
    Last registered on June 24, 2016

    This paper investigates the impact of economic status on social preferences. We exogenously alter people's perceived economic status by changing where they think their household stands in the US income distribution. Half of the people who over-estimated their position in the income distribution are told that they are relatively poorer than they thought. Conversely, half of those who under-estimated their position in the income distribution are informed that they are relatively richer than they thought. Then, participants play a series of four incentivized games, which measure different social preferences, such as trust, negative reciprocity, honesty and pro-sociality. This document outlines the analysis plan for this experiment.

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  • Do Opposites Detract? Intrahousehold Preference Heterogeneity and Inefficient Strategic Savings
    Last registered on June 23, 2016

    This paper uses a field experiment to test whether intrahousehold heterogeneity in discount factors leads to inefficient strategic savings behavior. I gave married couples in rural Kenya the opportunity to open both joint and individual bank accounts at randomly assigned interest rates. I also directly elicited discount factors for all individuals in the experiment. Couples who are well matched on discount factors are less likely to use costly individual accounts and respond robustly to relative rates of return between accounts, while their poorly matched peers do not. Consequently, poorly matched couples forgo significantly more interest earnings on their savings.

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  • Integrating value chains to improve food safety and increase smallholder incomes in Kenya
    Last registered on June 23, 2016

    This is a pilot study to evaluate adoption of ex-ante technologies for preventing toxic fungal contamination, the biocontrol product Aflasafe and mobile dryers, and an ex-post management technology, rapid testing for aflatoxin, by smallholder farmers in Kenya. Adoption of these technologies will be compared across farmer groups randomly assigned to receive a food safety-conditional purchase commitment from a formal sector buyer, and those left to find buyers independently. The impact of access to low-cost testing on adoption of preventive technologies will also be tested. The objectives of the pilot are to 1) establish commercial relationships between maize aggregators in the study region and formal sector millers, 2) test whether the existing formal sector price premium is sufficient t...

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  • Benchmarking development programs: a preference-based approach
    Last registered on June 23, 2016

    Hundreds of billions of dollars are spent each year on aid programs. In 2014, for example, OECD countries provided USD 135 billion in official development assistance (OECD, 2014) and US charitable giving to international programs exceeds USD 20 billion (Reuters, 2012). Beyond this, developing country governments allocate substantial sums to programs intended to benefit the poor and spur development. These billions of dollars are allocated across a wide variety of programs such as infrastructure, education, health, agriculture and direct assistance (e.g., subsidized goods, food aid, livestock transfers and cash transfers). A fundamental problem, impacting the hundreds of millions of individuals reached by aid, is how best to allocate spending across programs.Yet it is incredibly ...

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  • Evaluation of the District of Columbia Public Schools Family Engagement Partnership
    Last registered on June 23, 2016

    The District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) partnered with the Flamboyan Foundation to implement the Family Engagement Partnership (FEP), a two-year school-based intervention that aims to increase family engagement and, ultimately, student achievement. As part of this effort, DCPS selected Mathematica Policy Research, a nonpartisan research firm, to serve as the independent evaluator of FEP. Mathematica conducted a randomized controlled trial with a multi-step screening process to estimate the impacts of FEP on family engagement, student achievement, and other key outcomes. The treatment in this intent-to-treat evaluation was the invitation to apply to FEP, not necessarily the implementation of FEP. In addition to using administrative data to measure student and teacher outcomes, we ...

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  • The moral circle
    Last registered on June 22, 2016

    How people draw the moral circle that defines whom they include in their moral considerations, is at the heart of the most pressing policy challenges facing the world today and strongly related to the question of global fairness. Large inequalities between countries and an increasing number of migrants are pervasive features of the modern world that raise the profound question about who we are morally obligated to help. Do people perceive there to be particular moral obligations between citizens within a country and, if so, what are the constituents of these obligations? These questions are also of great importance in the climate debate, where it is essential to understand which moral obligations people believe they have towards future generations. The ambition of this research proj...

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