Evaluation of the Impact of the Introduction of Electronic Point of Sale (ePOS) Machines in the Public Distribution System (PDS) in Jharkhand
Last registered on April 17, 2017

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Evaluation of the Impact of the Introduction of Electronic Point of Sale (ePOS) Machines in the Public Distribution System (PDS) in Jharkhand
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0001620
Initial registration date
April 14, 2017
Last updated
April 17, 2017 3:08 PM EDT
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of Virginia
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2016-06-20
End date
2017-12-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
How does biometric authentication impact the delivery of in-kind social programs? To contribute to the evidence base on this question we are conducting a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of the rollout of biometric authentication in the Public Distribution System (PDS) in the Indian state of Jharkhand. The PDS functions as a means of combating food insecurity by providing subsidized food (rice, wheat, sugar) and non-food items (kerosene) to households monthly through government-assigned "Fair Price Shops" (FPS). However, the PDS is plagued with leakages and plugging leakage is one of the top priorities of the government. One potential way to plug leakages is via electronic Point-of-Service (ePOS) machines that can be used to biometrically authenticate and electronically record transactions that take place at the FPS. The Government of Jharkhand is in the process of rolling out ePOS machines in the state and has agreed to randomize the rollout.

This study aims to evaluate the impact of the government’s deployment of ePOS machines on the value delivered to eligible benefi ciaries, costs of delivery, and leakage, through a standard Randomized Control Trial (RCT) design, using data collected from multiple rounds of surveys in 10 districts of Jharkhand. The study also aims to inform policy decisions since results garnered will provide useful insight into operational difficulties and will have nation-wide policy applications, since most states are expected to switch to this system in the near future.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Muralidharan, Karthik, Paul Niehaus and Sandip Sukhtankar. 2017. "Evaluation of the Impact of the Introduction of Electronic Point of Sale (ePOS) Machines in the Public Distribution System (PDS) in Jharkhand." AEA RCT Registry. April 17. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/1620/history/16633
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
The intervention involves the introduction of an ePOS machine in PDS shops in order to authenticate the identity of beneficiaries receiving subsidized staple foods and commodities, as well as to electronically record transactions of these commodities. The intervention is being implemented by the Government of Jharkhand.
Intervention Start Date
2016-09-01
Intervention End Date
2017-12-31
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Value delivered to eligible bene ficiaries (V), costs of delivery (C), and leakage (L). Please see Pre-Analysis Plan for details and secondary outcomes.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
This study aims to evaluate the impact of the government’s deployment of ePOS machines through a stratified Randomized Control Trial (RCT) design, using data collected from multiple rounds of surveys in 10 districts of Jharkhand. Please see Pre-Analysis Plan for details.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization was done by a computer based on a coded algorithm; please see Pre-Analysis Plan for details.
Randomization Unit
Block
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
132 blocks
Sample size: planned number of observations
3960 households
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
87 blocks treatment, 45 blocks control
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
University of California at San Diego
IRB Approval Date
2016-07-25
IRB Approval Number
160866SX
IRB Name
University of Virginia
IRB Approval Date
2016-06-14
IRB Approval Number
2016­0222­00
IRB Name
Institute for Financial Management and Research
IRB Approval Date
2016-06-04
IRB Approval Number
IRB00007107
Analysis Plan
Analysis Plan Documents
Pre-Analysis Plan

MD5: 13081a41e9620f79d298c3d9cfe549b0

SHA1: df3a3eb3dffd2d2a71d6263bcb27c611e94e4723

Uploaded At: April 17, 2017

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