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Trust and the Purchase of Energy-Efficient Durable Goods: Evidence from Cooking Stoves in India
Last registered on October 16, 2016

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Trust and the Purchase of Energy-Efficient Durable Goods: Evidence from Cooking Stoves in India
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0001120
Initial registration date
October 16, 2016
Last updated
October 16, 2016 10:04 PM EDT
Location(s)
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Yale University
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Michigan State University
PI Affiliation
University of Chicago
PI Affiliation
Yale University
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2016-04-01
End date
2017-05-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
The Government of India is pushing for its citizens to gain access to clean and reliable sources of energy. Presently, 300 million Indians do not have access to electricity and 800 million use relatively polluting and inconvenient fuels, firewood, crop residue, dung cakes and charcoal, for cooking. The main alternative to these fuels for cooking is liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), and the government has announced a target of 75% adoption by 2015. Nearly 15 million new consumers are signing up for LPG every year.

The main challenge in achieving these targets is cost. Electricity connections and LPG refills are costly to citizens at market prices, and costly to government in the form of subsidies. One way to improve access while reducing cost is to increase the efficiency of energy use. A major tool used for the promotion of efficiency in many countries is the provision of information via the labelling of appliances, in order to boost customer demand for efficiency.

This study will measure the effect of an energy-star label for LPG stoves on customer demand for more efficient models. The main research question is: Does the energy star-label effect customer decisions on which stove to buy? Furthermore, the study aims to understand the demonstrated willingness to pay for a star-labelled stove, and the level of trust in government standards.

The research design is a field experiment that partners with the distributor networks of oil manufacturing companies (OMCs) in urban and semi-urban markets. The primary intervention will be providing customers with information on the thermal efficiency of stoves.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Barnwal, Prabhat et al. 2016. "Trust and the Purchase of Energy-Efficient Durable Goods: Evidence from Cooking Stoves in India." AEA RCT Registry. October 16. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.1120-1.0.
Former Citation
Barnwal, Prabhat et al. 2016. "Trust and the Purchase of Energy-Efficient Durable Goods: Evidence from Cooking Stoves in India." AEA RCT Registry. October 16. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/1120/history/11211.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2016-11-01
Intervention End Date
2017-03-31
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
The key outcomes are:
- demand for stoves with the star labeled sticker
- demonstrated willingness to pay at 2 different price points
- trust in government standards and certifications
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
In India, households purchase LPG connections from their local "distributor" outlets. First time customers often also purchase LPG stoves from these distributors.

The control group of distributors will receive shipments of the high thermal efficiency stove without the government agency certified star label sticker. The treatment group will receive shipments of the high thermal efficiency stove with the government agency certified star label sticker. Within both these groups, there will also be sub-groups with discounts on wholesale and retail pricing.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Random assignment of treatment arms has been done through Stata
Randomization Unit
The unit of randomization will be the LPG distributor outlet, where LPG refills and stoves are sold.
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Approximately 500 LPG distributor outlets
Sample size: planned number of observations
Approximately 3,000 customer households
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Approximately 250 distributor outlets will receive the 72% thermally efficient stove with star-labeled stickers and 250 will receive without the star-labeled stockers on the stove.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Institute for Financial Management & Research Human Subjects Committee
IRB Approval Date
2015-08-01
IRB Approval Number
NA
IRB Name
Michigan State University
IRB Approval Date
2016-02-24
IRB Approval Number
NA
IRB Name
Yale Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
2015-08-14
IRB Approval Number
1507016110
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers