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Maasai Watchman Field Experiment

Last registered on February 15, 2018


Trial Information

General Information

Maasai Watchman Field Experiment
Initial registration date
February 14, 2018

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
February 15, 2018, 11:02 AM EST

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



Primary Investigator

University of Toronto

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
I create randomised variation in farm security by matching randomly selected Kenyan smallholding farmers with subsidized Maasai watchmen to protect farms during the main agricultural season. I explore the effect of theft and property crime by testing whether farmers engage in different types of production when their farms are more secure against theft. I further explore how social networks are used to substitute for imperfect protection of property in an environment where state institutions are unable to fully protect farms, and how theft is used to sanction those who neglect social obligations. Finally, I test whether improved security and reduced fear of crime decrease the degree of ethnic ingroup-outgroup parochialism and political preference for authoritarian, `strongman' leaders.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Dyer, Julian. 2018. "Maasai Watchman Field Experiment." AEA RCT Registry. February 15.
Former Citation
Dyer, Julian and Julian Dyer. 2018. "Maasai Watchman Field Experiment." AEA RCT Registry. February 15.
Experimental Details


The intervention in this project is matching farming households to high-quality, trusted Maasai watchmen at a heavily subsidized rate. The intention of this intervention is to cause variation in the security of farms during the long rainy season.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Share of land used for growing high-value or theft-prone crops, and decision to plant new crops.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
This experiment will consist of a core sample who will be the treatment and control group, answering the main research questions, and a supplementary spillover sample that will be used to estimate the spillovers on crime of the intervention. The core sample will be cluster randomized by village into treatment or control.
Experimental Design Details
See Pre Analysis Plan for details.
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by computer. See Pre Analysis Plan for details.
Randomization Unit
Village. See Pre Analysis Plan for details.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Approx. 100 Villages
Sample size: planned number of observations
Target is 600 farming households
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
200 farmers treated, 400 control.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
See Pre Analysis Plan.

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of Toronto Research Ethics Board
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Protocol Reference # 34160
Analysis Plan

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Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials