The NGO GiveDirectly provides large, unconditional cash transfers to poor households in rural Kenya. GiveDirectly identifies villages in which they are willing to work, and in order to facilitate research on cash transfers, these villages are randomly assigned to treatment or control status. Within treatment villages, GiveDirectly then identifies all households that meet their eligibility criteria, enrolls and verifies the eligibility of households, and sends cash transfers to all eligible households via the mobile money system M-Pesa. Eligible households receive a one-time of around USD 1,000 made in a series of three payments. GiveDirectly is responsible for the intervention.
The cash transfers used in this program were originally distributed as part of two previously-registered AEA trials. The earlier trial, ”General Equilibrium Effects of Cash Transfers in Kenya” (GE), examines effects on prices, wages and economic growth in 653 villages, and began giving out cash transfers in September 2014 (Haushofer, Miguel, Niehaus and Walker, 2014, available at https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/505). The later trial, ”Promoting Future Orientation Among Cash Transfer Recipients”, started disbursing transfers in November 2016 in 416 villages (Orkin, Garlick, Haushofer, Mahmud, Sedlmayr, and Dercon, 2016, available at https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/996). It examines effects of cross-cutting a goal-setting exercise with the cash transfer.
We are collecting new data on political and civic engagement outcomes across both trials. The combined study increases the number of villages and administrative units to study to increase power for village- and administrative unit-level analysis.