Impact of Cash Transfers on Income Distribution

Last registered on January 26, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Impact of Cash Transfers on Income Distribution
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0001484
Initial registration date
December 01, 2016

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
December 01, 2016, 9:18 AM EST

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Last updated
January 26, 2021, 5:47 AM EST

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
University of Oxford

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Oxford
PI Affiliation
University of Oxford
PI Affiliation
University of Oxford
PI Affiliation
University of Oxford
PI Affiliation
Duke University

Additional Trial Information

Status
Completed
Start date
2016-07-04
End date
2020-12-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
This study aims to identify the aggregate and distributional income and wealth impacts of targeted cash transfers to poor rural households in a developing country and to understand the channels through which distributional impacts occur.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Dercon, Stefan et al. 2021. "Impact of Cash Transfers on Income Distribution." AEA RCT Registry. January 26. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.1484
Former Citation
Dercon, Stefan et al. 2021. "Impact of Cash Transfers on Income Distribution." AEA RCT Registry. January 26. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/1484/history/84556
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Cash Transfers: Eligible households in treatment villages (approximately 2/3 of households) will receive transfers of approximately 1000 USD in the standard three-stage cash transfer program implemented by GiveDirectly. In the course of the registration process for the cash transfers, eligible individuals are provided with a mobile money account as well as a mobile phone if they do not yet have these. This is followed by three mobile money transfers, made in intervals of approximately two months: a small transfer (`Token') of approximately USD100 (nominal 2016 dollars); a large transfer (`Lump Sum A') of approximately USD450; and a second large transfer (`Lump Sum B') of USD450 minus the price of the mobile phone.

Note that, as this study is related to the study "Promoting Future Orientation Among Cash Transfer Recipients" (ID: AEARCTR-0000996), the cash transfer intervention is cross-cut with a goal-setting psychological intervention.
Intervention Start Date
2016-11-01
Intervention End Date
2017-05-31

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
The key outcome variables of interest are the distributions of income, consumption expenditure and asset wealth (both levels and changes). These are all measured through household socioeconomic surveys at baseline and endline using standard approaches for measurement in low income and mixed livelihoods contexts.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Villages in the study area are randomly assigned to four treatment arms: cash transfer and psychological intervention, cash transfer only, psychological intervention only, pure control. Household eligibility is determined by a preliminary census of all households covering household composition, housing characteristics and a basic asset index. Eligible households in the cash transfer treatment villages are offered substantial cash transfers, while eligible households in the psychological intervention villages are offered an intervention that consists of two back-to-back ten-minute aspirational videos, a facilitated goal-setting exercise, and the distribution of a reminder. Comprehensive household surveys, covering productive activities, consumption, assets and networks, are carried out with eligible and ineligible households sampled from all villages before and after the interventions are conducted.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Computer, stratified random assignment.
The village level randomization was stratified by the percentage of people eligible for the cash transfer based on the eligibility criteria, the village size, a household asset index (TV, car, telephone etc) and a village services index (schools, health clinics, markets).
Randomization Unit
Village level randomization
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Estimated: 315 villages
Sample size: planned number of observations
Estimated: 10446 households of which 7338 are eligible to receive the cash transfer (sampled through existing RCT) and 3108 are ineligible. Recruitment is ongoing.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Target distribution is 1/4 of villages in each arm; but randomization is phased and ongoing. The overall number of villages might not divisible by 4.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Social Science & Humanities Inter-Divisional Research Ethics Committee
IRB Approval Date
2016-04-13
IRB Approval Number
SSD/CUREC1A/BSG C1A_16-002
Analysis Plan

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Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
No
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?
No

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials