x

We are happy to announce that all trial registrations will now be issued DOIs (digital object identifiers). For more information, see here.
Turning a Shove into a Nudge? A "Labeled Cash Transfer" for Education
Last registered on June 28, 2016

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Turning a Shove into a Nudge? A "Labeled Cash Transfer" for Education
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0001291
Initial registration date
June 28, 2016
Last updated
June 28, 2016 2:57 PM EDT
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Stanford University
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
J-PAL Europe
PI Affiliation
MIT
PI Affiliation
J-PAL Europe
PI Affiliation
World Bank
Additional Trial Information
Status
Completed
Start date
2008-06-01
End date
2010-07-30
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Conditional Cash Transfers (CCTs) have been shown to increase human capital investments, but their standard features make them expensive. We use a large randomized experiment in Morocco to estimate an alternative government-run program, a “labeled cash transfer” (LCT): a small cash transfer made to fathers of school-aged children in poor rural communities, not conditional on school attendance but explicitly labeled as an education support program. We document large gains in school participation. Adding conditionality and targeting mothers made almost no difference in our context. The program increased parents’ belief that education was a worthwhile investment, a likely pathway for the results.
Registration Citation
Citation
Benhassine, Najy et al. 2016. "Turning a Shove into a Nudge? A "Labeled Cash Transfer" for Education." AEA RCT Registry. June 28. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.1291-1.0.
Former Citation
Benhassine, Najy et al. 2016. "Turning a Shove into a Nudge? A "Labeled Cash Transfer" for Education." AEA RCT Registry. June 28. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/1291/history/9139.
Sponsors & Partners

There are documents in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access to this information.

Request Information
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
We conducted a randomized evaluation of a cash transfer program in Morocco to estimate the impact on attendance and enrollment of a “labeled cash transfer” (LCT): a small cash transfer made to parents of school-aged children in poor rural communities, not conditional on school attendance but explicitly labeled as an education support program. We partnered with the Government of Morocco to evaluate the Tayssir program, a two-year pilot designed to increase student participation in primary school. Tayssir, which means “facilitation” in Arabic, made cash payments to parents in program communities with children aged 6 to 15. Parents had to formally enroll each of their children into the program. The pilot took place in 318 rural primary school sectors (a school sector includes a “main” primary school unit and several “satellite” school units, four on average) in the poorest areas within five of Morocco’s sixteen regions. The Tayssir pilot included two versions of the program:

1) Labeled cash transfer (LCT): In this version of the program, families with children of primary school age could receive transfers whether or not their children attended school. In practice, since enrollment in the Tayssir program happened at schools, children enrolled in Tayssir were automatically registered and enrolled in school at the same time, but the transfers were not conditional on continued enrollment. The monthly amount per child increased as each child progressed through school, starting from 60 MAD (US$8) for each child in grades 1 and 2 and increasing to 100 MAD (US$13) for children in grades 5 and 6. The average transfer amount represented about 5 percent of the average household’s monthly consumption, which is small compared to a range of 6 to 25 percent for existing CCTs in middle-income countries.

2) Conditional cash transfer (CCT): In this version of the program, cash transfers were disbursed to parents of primary school-age children, as long as their child did not miss school more than four times each month. The monthly transfer amounts were the same as those in the LCT program.

In order to determine if the effectiveness of the transfers depended on the gender of the parent who received the transfer (the child's mother or father), mothers—the recipients in almost all CCT programs to date—received the transfers in half of the school sectors sampled for Tayssir; while fathers received the transfers in the other half. Each school sector sampled for the study was randomly assigned to one of five groups:

1) LCT issued to fathers: This group included 80 communities from 40 school sectors.
2) LCT issued to mothers: This group included 80 communities from 40 school sectors.
3) CCT issued to fathers: This group included 180 communities from 90 school sectors.
4) CCT issued to mothers: This group included 180 communities from 90 school sectors.
5) Comparison group: This group of 120 communities from 60 school sectors were sampled to receive no transfers.
Intervention Start Date
2008-09-01
Intervention End Date
2010-06-30
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
- School participation/ attendance
- Dropout rate
- Re-enrollment rate
- Share of students never enrolled in school
- Performance on a basic arithmetic test
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Tayssir was targeted at the geographic level. The pilot took place in the 5 poorest regions of Morocco (out of 16 administrative regions), and within those regions, in the poorest rural municipalities (administrative units called “communes” in Morocco) with high dropout rates at the primary school level. A total of 320 rural primary school sectors (close to 65 percent of all school sectors in the selected regions) were sampled for the study in those municipalities. Each rural school sector has a well-identified catchment area validated by the Delegation de l’Education Nationale, the provincial-level authority for education policy. A school sector includes a “main” primary school unit and several “satellite” school units (four on average). Satellite units fall under the authority of the headmaster of the main unit, and sometimes offer only lower grade classes. Out of the 320 school sectors in the study, 260 were randomly selected to participate in the Tayssir pilot program. These school sectors constitute the treatment group. The other 60 sectors in the sample were selected to constitute the comparison group. The 260 school sectors in the treatment group were subdivided randomly into 4 subgroups, with a two-by-two design: simply labeled as designed to facilitate educational investments (“Tayssir” means facilitation in Arabic) versus conditional on attendance; and father-beneficiary versus mother-beneficiary. The groups were not even in size: while the father versus mother split was 50%–50%, the labeled versus conditional split was 31%–69%. School sectors participating in the pilot program were selected such that they would be relatively far from each other (on average they are 6 kilometers apart), which limited the risk that parents transferred their children from control to treatment schools or from CCT to LCT schools, as well as other forms of externalities.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
The randomization was done in office using STATA, and was stratified by region, school size, dropout rate and by whether the government was planning to make improvements to school infrastructure within the two-year time frame of the evaluation.
Randomization Unit
School sector
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
320 rural primary school sectors
Sample size: planned number of observations
Household sample: 5000 households. School sample: all students ever enrolled between 2006 and 2008 in 640 primary schools (2 schools selected by school sector)
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
1) LCT issued to fathers: This group included 80 communities from 40 school sectors.
2) LCT issued to mothers: This group included 80 communities from 40 school sectors.
3) CCT issued to fathers: This group included 180 communities from 90 school sectors.
4) CCT issued to mothers: This group included 180 communities from 90 school sectors.
5) Comparison group: This group included 120 communities from 60 school sectors
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
MIT
IRB Approval Date
2008-03-20
IRB Approval Number
0802002622
IRB Name
UCLA
IRB Approval Date
2008-11-10
IRB Approval Number
G08-09-087-01
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
Yes
Intervention Completion Date
June 30, 2010, 12:00 AM +00:00
Is data collection complete?
Yes
Data Collection Completion Date
June 30, 2010, 12:00 AM +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
Final sample size: 318 school sectors compared to 320 planned.
Two school sectors (one in the control group and one in a treatment group) had to be dropped after the randomization because floods rendered them completely inaccessible to the research team during baseline, leaving us with a final sample of 318 school sectors.
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
No
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
- Student-level analysis: 35755 students enrolled in grades 1-4 at baseline + 6680 students enrolled in grade 5 at baseline
- Household-level analysis: Overall, a total of 5,032 households were sampled. Of them, 4832 (96%) could be interviewed at baseline. Of those interviewed at baseline, 91% were interviewed at endline. An additional 111 households that were sampled but not surveyed at baseline were found and surveyed at endline, yielding post-attrition endline sample of 4,385 households. Attrition was more pronounced in the control group than Tayssir groups. The groups appear relatively well balanced with respect to observable characteristics. Fewer than 10% of all possible pair-wise comparisons yield differences that are significant at the 10% level.
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
1) LCT issued to fathers: 80 communities from 40 school sectors. 2) LCT issued to mothers: 80 communities from 40 school sectors. 3) CCT issued to fathers: 180 communities from 90 school sectors. 4) CCT issued to mothers: 178 communities from 89 school sectors. 5) Comparison group: 118 communities from 59 school sectors received no transfers.
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers
Abstract
Conditional Cash Transfers (CCTs) have been shown to increase human capital investments, but their standard features make them expensive. We use a large randomized experiment in Morocco to estimate an alternative government-run program, a “labeled cash transfer” (LCT): a small cash transfer made to fathers of school-aged children in poor rural communities, not conditional on school attendance but explicitly labeled as an education support program. We document large gains in school participation. Adding conditionality and targeting mothers made almost no difference in our context. The program increased parents’ belief that education was a worthwhile investment, a likely pathway for the results.
Citation
Benhassine, Najy, Florencia Devoto, Esther Duflo, Pascaline Dupas, and Victor Pouliquen. 2015. "Turning a Shove into a Nudge? A "Labeled Cash Transfer" for Education." American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 7(3): 86-125.