We conduct a representative survey with 1,000 agricultural households in the Nile Delta region of Egypt. Of these households, 100 will be sampled conditional on already having a biogas digester, while the remaining 900 will not. For the 900 households without a biogas unit, we will study barriers to biogas take-up with a survey experiment. We experimentally allocate the 900 households without biogas digesters to different treatment arms, aiming at understanding informational and financial barriers to take-up.
In a first margin of treatment variation, we provide households with information on the biogas technology, in two different treatment arms. Households in treatment arm 1 (T1) will watch an informational video on the benefits of biogas digesters in Rural Egypt. Households in the control arm will not receive any information treatment. In the second margin of treatment variation, we study financial barriers to biogas take-up. Households in this treatment arm (T2) will be confronted with the following hypothetical subsidy scenario:
“Imagine you are offered a subsidy of [0/25/50/75]% of the construction and maintenance costs of a biogas unit, which are 16,000 EGP, would you invest in the biogas digester for your household?”
We randomly vary whether the subsidy covers 75%, 50%, 25%, or 0% of the construction and maintenance costs, to be able to trace a potential demand curve. This will ultimately be helpful in designing the optimal level of subsidy in a large-scale experiment. To increase the stakes of households in this treatment group, we will offer one actual subsidy (for each of the three subsidy levels) via a lottery.
Overall, we will thus allocate households to eight different cells and can test combinations of the information treatment and various subsidy levels.