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Carrots or Sticks: The Impact of Incentives and Monitoring on the Performance of Public Extension Staff
Last registered on September 17, 2017

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Carrots or Sticks: The Impact of Incentives and Monitoring on the Performance of Public Extension Staff
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0002430
Initial registration date
September 15, 2017
Last updated
September 17, 2017 5:04 PM EDT
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Georgetown University
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
World Bank
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2017-11-01
End date
2020-03-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
In 2016, the World Bank and the Ministry of Agriculture of Punjab, Pakistan worked together to provide to all field workers smart phones equipped with a monitoring system called Agri-Smart. This project, joint with the Ministry of Agriculture of the Government of Punjab, Pakistan, proposes to introduce and evaluate performance-based incentives using the Agri-Smart system, to reward greater outreach efforts by field staff. The goal is to improve agricultural productivity which is seen as critical for both poverty reduction and growth.

We will pilot different incentive schemes to answer the primary research question is “How can different bonus schemes for agriculture extension workers improve service outreach and quality to meet the needs of farmers?”

Answering this question will significantly advance our knowledge in the context of a sector critical to economic development in Pakistan and contributes to the literature on performance pay in the public sector.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Genicot, Garance and Ghazala Mansuri. 2017. "Carrots or Sticks: The Impact of Incentives and Monitoring on the Performance of Public Extension Staff ." AEA RCT Registry. September 17. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.2430-1.0.
Former Citation
Genicot, Garance, Garance Genicot and Ghazala Mansuri. 2017. "Carrots or Sticks: The Impact of Incentives and Monitoring on the Performance of Public Extension Staff ." AEA RCT Registry. September 17. http://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2430/history/21489.
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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
This project proposes to support the work of the Government of Punjab, Pakistan, overall, and the Ministry of Agriculture in particular, in their effort to improve service delivery through improved systems of client outreach and higher quality service provision by public sector employees. For the Ministry of Agriculture, this entails improving the performance of all staff providing advisory services to farmers—in particular, field staff, who are on the front lines of this effort.

Over the last year, all field staff -- Agriculture Extension Officers (AOs), Agriculture Assistants (AIs), and Field Assistants (FAs) – have been provided a smartphone equipped with a monitoring system (Agri-Smart) to track their location and activities. The Ministry of Agriculture is now putting in place performance based pay incentives using the Agri-Smart system, to reward greater outreach efforts by field staff. The goal is to improve agricultural productivity which is seen as critical for both poverty reduction and growth.

Agricultural service delivery involves complex tasks where effort is multi-dimensional with some dimensions harder to monitor than others. This is a setting where the choice is unclear between the known advantages and disadvantages of objective versus subjective performance evaluation systems. Further, since bias is a common issue in all subjective evaluation systems, there is a potential benefit for increased monitoring of supervisors themselves.

We proposed to the Ministry of Agriculture to evaluate the impact of three alternative performance pay systems which vary in terms of objectivity and alignment of staff incentives with the Directorate.
Intervention Start Date
2017-11-01
Intervention End Date
2019-01-31
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)

1. Ag Extension worker level outcomes:
a. Outreach measures as measure by the Agri-Smart such as Compliance,
Distance traveled, Farmers reached, Total farmers advised through extension activities in a given month, Proportion of scheduled activities completed; proportion of time spent on extension activities in a given month, Number village visits
b. Job satisfaction, Perception of fairness, Collaboration with colleagues as measured in a survey

2. Farmer level data
a. Farmer feedback on extension services,
b. Farmer Technology adoption
c. Farmer knowledge
d. Agricultural Productivity

3. Tehsil level data
Agricultural productivity, Yield for all major and minor crops.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design

We proposed to the Ministry of Agriculture to evaluate the impact of three alternative performance pay systems which vary in terms of objectivity and alignment of staff incentives with the Directorate.

Our impact evaluation covers the entire population of field agricultural extension agents (FAs/AIs/AOs) in Punjab:
126 tehsils, with approximatively 20 workers per tehsil.

We randomized the incentive schemes at the tehsil level.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer.
We stratified by districts.
We make a 100 draws for the allocation and for each draw run the following tests: A. that treatments are balanced across some baseline variables and B. that for each sub-sample of our treatments, we run a joint test of significance for all the variable vars.
We choose the draw with the smallest joint F.


Randomization Unit
Tehsil level
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
126 tehsils
Sample size: planned number of observations
126 tehsils with about 2,524 workers (out of which 382 are AOs)
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
T1: 31 tehsils
T2: 31 tehsils
T3: 32 tehsils
Control: 32 tehsils
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