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Using Stickers to Improve Customers' Water Payment Behavior in Kosovo.
Last registered on June 23, 2017

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Using Stickers to Improve Customers' Water Payment Behavior in Kosovo.
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0002281
Initial registration date
June 23, 2017
Last updated
June 23, 2017 4:43 PM EDT
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of Cologne
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2016-11-14
End date
2018-06-06
Secondary IDs
Abstract
We conduct a randomized field experiment in cooperation with the Regional Water Company Prishtina to improve payment behavior for water among private customers in Pristina (Kosovo). In a first stage, we conduct interviews to investigate reasons for non-payment. In the second stage, we attach stickers to customers' invoices and highlight the most important numbers on the water bill. Customers can put these stickers as reminders to pay on the insider of their door. In total there are six sticker treatments. Three stickers types highlight the positive consequences of paying (gain) and three highlight the negative consequences of not paying (loss). Within each frame, we test two types of self-concept treatment over a basic sticker. The self-concept stickers intend to link the payment behavior to the self-concept of customers by persuasion (e.g., "Please be a responsible citizen") or attribution (e.g., "You are a responsible citizen").
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Tonke, Sebastian. 2017. "Using Stickers to Improve Customers' Water Payment Behavior in Kosovo.." AEA RCT Registry. June 23. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.2281-1.0.
Former Citation
Tonke, Sebastian. 2017. "Using Stickers to Improve Customers' Water Payment Behavior in Kosovo.." AEA RCT Registry. June 23. http://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2281/history/18944.
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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
There are six sticker types in a 3x2 design. Half of the stickers highlight the positive consequences of paying, whereas the other half highlights the negative consequences of not paying. The stickers will be attached to the invoices of customers. Customers are informed that they may use the stickers as reminders to pay, by putting the sticker and bill on the inside of their door. Further, the stickers intend to strengthen the link between payment behavior and self-concept of customers. Two types of self-concept treatments are tested: Persuasion (e.g., "Please be a responsible citizen") and attribution (e.g., "You are a responsible citizen").

The treatments:
Untreated baseline condition

Positive frame - Reminder
Positive frame - Reminder + Self-concept persuasion
Positive frame - Reminder + Self-concept attribution

Negative frame - Reminder
Negative frame - Reminder + Self-concept persuasion
Negative frame - Reminder + Self-concept attribution
Intervention Start Date
2017-06-06
Intervention End Date
2017-08-31
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Payment behavior and water consumption behavior

One particular research interest is to investigate between and within treatment differences among customer types and their past payment behavior as well as long-term effects.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Subjects will be randomly assigned to one of six treatment conditions or a untreated baseline condition by day and reader. To implement the intervention, over a period of three months, a student research team accompanies eight members of the staff of the water company ("readers") during their work. The readers read the water meters throughout the month on a rolling basis and then print the bill with a handheld mobile printer and directly deliver it to the customer. The amount due for this month and the total amount due are highlighted with a marker. The sticker ist hen attached to the bill and put on a customers door, mailbox (if available) or delivered personally (if customer is met).

Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
All treatments are randomized by a computer program. All treatments are balanced by day and by reader.
Randomization Unit
The level of randomization is at the individual level (customer).
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
The eight readers are assigned to bill over 15000 customers each month. However some customers are inactive, their location unknown, the meter cannot be read (damaged, flooded) or commercial customers (which are not treated), etc. The number of eventually treated private customers will thus be substantially lower and is unknown until the coding team has digitalized all values.
Sample size: planned number of observations
The eight readers are assigned to bill over 15000 customers each month. However some customers are inactive, their location unknown, the meter cannot be read (damaged, flooded) or commercial customers (which are not treated), etc. The number of eventually treated private customers will thus be substantially lower and is unknown until the coding team has digitalized all values.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
The eight readers are assigned to bill over 15000 customers each month. However some customers are inactive, their location unknown, the meter cannot be read (damaged, flooded) or commercial customers (which are not treated), etc. The number of eventually treated private customers will thus be substantially lower and is unknown until the coding team has digitalized all values.

Although all treatment arms are randomized and balanced by day and by reader, this does not guarantee an equal share of treated customers between the treatment arms. Treatment arm sample size may vary because the reader may for example get sick, has connection problems with his printing device or goes on vacation.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is 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