The Impacts of Female Education: Evidence from Malawian Secondary Schools
Last registered on May 16, 2016


Trial Information
General Information
The Impacts of Female Education: Evidence from Malawian Secondary Schools
Initial registration date
May 16, 2016
Last updated
May 16, 2016 2:34 PM EDT
Primary Investigator
Cornell University
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
KDI School of Public Policy and Management
PI Affiliation
Columbia University
PI Affiliation
Seoul National University
Additional Trial Information
On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
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).
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Choi, Syngjoo et al. 2016. "The Impacts of Female Education: Evidence from Malawian Secondary Schools ." AEA RCT Registry. May 16.
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Experimental Details
For the school year 2012-2013, all girl students in the treatment classrooms received one-year school tuition (three semesters) and monthly cash stipends (three times per semester). School tuition and fees per semester on average was 3,500 Malawi kwacha and were directly deposited to each school's account and monthly cash stipends of 300 Malawi kwacha were distributed to treated students, which is equivalent to in total around US$ 70 per year.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Main outcome variables include 1) measures of rationality and preferences, and 2) HIV and HSV2 infection.
1. Rationality: We use revealed preferences analysis to check whether subjects’ behavior comply with utility maximization hypothesis. It will be done by checking whether individual behavior is consistent with Generalized Axiom of Revealed Preferences (GARP) and measuring the extent to which it violates GARP. We use various indices of measuring GARP violations, including Afriat’s Critical Cost Efficiency Index (CCEI). This will be separately done in domains of decision making under risk as well as of intertemporal choices.
2. Risk preferences: Experimental data of choices under risk will allow us to measure two distinct parameters of risk attitudes-utility curvature and probability weighting. This will be based on parametric estimation of rank-dependent utility model (Quiggin, 1981; Schmeidler, 1989). We will also use a single, nonparametric measure of risk attitudes.
3. Time preferences: Using experimental data of intertemporal choices, we will measure two parameters of time impatience-present bias and standard discount rate. This will be based on parametric estimation of quasi-hyperbolic discounting utility model (Laibson, 1997). Also, a single, nonparametric measure of time impatience will be used.
4. HIV and HSV2 infection: We will measure infection of HIV and HSV2 by the rapid test kits.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Years of education, test scores, timing of marriage, age of the partner, sexual behaviors, attitudes toward condom use, cognitive skills (Raven’s Standard Progressive Matrices), and non-cognitive traits measured by Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale, Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), Ten Item Personality Inventory (TIPI), Short Grit Scale, etc.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Treatment: 62 classrooms across 9th ~ 11th grade were randomly selected in 2012 to receive school tuition and monthly cash stipends over one year (three semesters).
Control: 62 classrooms across 9th ~ 11th grade were randomly selected as control group and no school tuition and cash stipends were provided
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization of classrooms in office by computer random number generator
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
2,811 completed baseline surveys for women (baseline 9th and 10th grade) who will be targeted in this 3-year follow-up study coming from 33schools and 83 classes
Sample size: planned number of observations
We expect to successfully interview about 91% (Effective Survey Rate) of women from the initial baseline for a total of 2,811 women (excluding baseline 11th grade students).
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
treatment: 39 classrooms (1,459 women)
control: 44 classrooms (1,352 women)
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Supporting Documents and Materials

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IRB Name
Cornell Institutional Review Board for Human Participants
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
IRB Name
IRB Office, Columbia University
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
IRB Name
Malawi National Health Science Research Committee (NHSRC)
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan
Analysis Plan Documents
Pre-analysis plan

MD5: c5d920d0f2b72cae21889699f0d0983e

SHA1: d208f22540ef826b4f56bfe58489408a8bb8a5b6

Uploaded At: May 16, 2016

Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Is the intervention completed?
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
Program Files
Program Files
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers