This project evaluates a randomized controlled trial of an education support program for girls on rationality and preferences. Between October of 2011 and May of 2012 a baseline survey of 7,971 secondary students in school cohorts 9-11 was implemented across 124 classrooms in 33 public secondary schools in Malawi. One intervention arm of the study was targeted towards the 3,997 female students in the sample and randomly provided to a subgroup one-year tuition support and monthly cash stipends. For this study we have selected the 2811 students who were in grade 9 and 10 in 2012 (since those in grade 11 have graduated and are harder to track). This study aims to understand the impact of this education intervention on rationality and preferences in decision making under risk and over time. These outcomes will be measured using experimental methods based on previous work by one of the authors of the study (Choi, Fisman, Gale, and Kariv, AER, 2007; Choi, Kariv, Müller, and Silverman, AER, 2014).
[Added in 2019 Dec] Further, we implemented phone surveys in 2017 (3rd follow-up) and 2019 (4th follow-up). In these surveys, we measure labor market outcomes and post-schooling training, marital status and partner information, sexual relationships, and attitudes toward male circumcision, pregnancy and contraceptive usage (females only). In the 2019 survey, we additionally introduced two types of outcome variables to understand the impacts of secondary school education on 1) political preference and participation, and 2) health knowledge and health investment behaviors.
The first set of outcome variables capture political preferences and participation. We measured preferences at the second follow-up survey including 1) interest in politics, 2) views on various political issues, and 3) views on political systems, democracy, and elections. We also ask questions on participation in politics in the fourth follow-up survey, which was implemented right after the nation-wide protest related to election fraud in mid 2019.
The second set of outcome variables are health knowledge and investment behaviors. We introduce a simple test to measure level of knowledge about malaria. We also provide an opportunity for study participants to pick up a free multi vitamin (which is worth about $10) in designated shops in the city center to measure health investment behavior.