Pilot Interventions to Increase the Impact of Rural Roads on Factor Accumulation and Productivity in Nicaragua
Last registered on September 20, 2018

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Pilot Interventions to Increase the Impact of Rural Roads on Factor Accumulation and Productivity in Nicaragua
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0002663
Initial registration date
January 09, 2018
Last updated
September 20, 2018 3:57 AM EDT
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
The World Bank
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
The World Bank
PI Affiliation
The World Bank
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2018-01-12
End date
2019-12-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
This research seeks to inform the Nicaraguan government with respect to which complementary interventions are necessary to ensure that households benefiting from a World Bank-financed Rural Roads Rehabilitation Project take advantage of improved infrastructure to create sustainable self-employment opportunities. Prior formative research conducted by the World Bank confirms that lack of access to lumpy investments is a major impediment to factor accumulation, greater productivity, and employment in the context of rural Nicaragua. Formal savings accounts guard against theft, self-control problems, and expectations that their resources are shared with an individual’s social network. By way of a randomized control trial (RCT), we examine the relative effectiveness of different mechanisms for facilitating access to lumpy sums for investment, including savings accounts and productive investment grants. Furthermore, the formative research reveals that rural households are internally constrained by an aspirations deficit. We examine the extent to which the alleviation of this aspirational deficit through an aspirational training improves saving behavior and the effectiveness of investment in income-generating activities.

Question 1. The main evaluation question of the proposed study is the relevance of access to lumpy investments and improved aspirations for rural household in Nicaragua to escape poverty. Specifically, the first research question of the proposed IE concerns the impact of (i) cash grants, (ii) commitment savings accounts, and (iii) aspirational trainings on increased investment in self-employment (e.g., business activity, investment, and profitability), household consumption, and downstream development outcomes. Also of interest are the two main intermediate outcome variables, i.e., savings levels and aspirations.

Question 2. The second question of the proposed IE concerns how the effects vary across geographic proximity to roads which have been already rehabilitated and roads where rehabilitation by the Ministry of Transport of Nicaragua is planned for the upcoming years. In doing so, we aim to capture complementary effects of tested interventions and roads rehabilitation.

Further interesting sub-questions are effect heterogeneity across gender, age, and baseline household income.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Perova, Elizaveta, Arndt Reichert and Alexander Spevack. 2018. "Pilot Interventions to Increase the Impact of Rural Roads on Factor Accumulation and Productivity in Nicaragua." AEA RCT Registry. September 20. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2663/history/34461
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2018-01-15
Intervention End Date
2018-06-15
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
increased investment in self-employment (e.g., business activity, investment, and profitability), household consumption, and downstream development outcomes
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
stratified random assignment of treatments at individual level (stratifying variable included rehabilitation status of nearest road section)
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
randomization ceremony with government officials
Randomization Unit
households
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
150 villages
Sample size: planned number of observations
2800 households
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms

Productive investment grant (Treatment 1) - 200 households;
Savings account for productive investment (Treatment 2a) - 800 households;
Matched saving grant (Treatment 2b) - 300 households;
Aspirational training (Treatment 3) - 350 households;
Aspirational training in addition to the matched saving grant (Treatment 4) - 350 households
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
IRB Solutions
IRB Approval Date
2017-12-18
IRB Approval Number
Protocol #2017/11/14