Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Risk, time and social preferences are elicited using incentivized experiments. Each participant receives a token (star) as a show-up fee and is able to earn more stars during the experiments. At the end of all experiments, stars will be converted into money at an age-specific exchange rate. To avoid income effects, one of the experiments is randomly chosen for payment.
We use a popular experimental protocol to measure time preferences (e.g., Anderson and Mellor 2008; Bauer, Chytilová, and Pertold-Gebicka 2014) where subjects repeatedly choose between an early but smaller payment and a later but larger payment. For children, the early payment takes place either tomorrow or in a month, the later payment in three weeks, three months, or four months, respectively. For adults, delays are longer but equally structured. The experiment design allows classifying individuals according to their degree of patience (total number of patient choices among all choices), as time consistent or inconsistent (depending on whether their current and future discount rates are equal or not), and present biased (in case the current discount rate is larger than the future discount rate).
In order to measure risk preferences, we use an experiment originally designed by Binswanger (1980) and already widely applied (e.g., Bauer, Chytilová, and Pertold-Gebicka 2014) in rural settings in developing countries. Participants have to select one out of several gambles. Each gamble yields either a high or a low payoff with equal probability where each successive gamble is characterized by an increase in expected earnings and in the variance of earnings. Hence, higher number gambles are riskier, allowing to rank individuals in categories of decreasing risk aversion as well as classifying them as risk-averse, (close to) risk-neutral, or risk-seeking.
Concerning the social preferences, we adopt an experimental protocol inspired by Fehr, Bernhard, and Rockenbach (2008) and extended by Fehr, Glätzle-Rützler, and Sutter (2013) as well as Bauer, Chytilová, and Pertold-Gebicka (2014), for example. Each participant plays four binary dictator games. In each game, the child or adult has to decide between two alternative allocations of stars for himself/herself and an anonymous child or adult similar to him/her. The four games are the following, where in each allocation the first number corresponds to the decision maker’s own payoff: (i) costly pro-social game with (1,1) versus (2,0); (ii) costless pro-social game with (1,1) versus (1,0); (iii) costless envy game with (1,1) versus (1,2); and (iv) costly envy game with (1,1) versus (2,3). The design is suitable for classifying individuals to four social preference types: altruistic, egalitarian, spiteful, or selfish (see e.g., Fehr, Glätzle-Rützler, and Sutter 2013).
On top, for time, risk, and social preferences as well as for trust, we use one validated, age-adjusted survey item from the Global Preference Survey (Falk et al. 2016), respectively. Children have to indicate their agreement to the following statements using a 5-point Likert scale: “I am good at giving up something nice today in order to get something even nicer in the future.” (time preferences); “I often take risks.” (risk preferences); “One can trust unknown people.” (trust). Adults have to indicate their (un)willingness or (dis)agreement regarding the following questions/statements using an 11-point Likert scale: “How willing are you to give up something that is beneficial for you today in order to benefit more from that in the future?” (time preferences); “How willing are you to give to good causes without expecting anything in return?” (social preferences); “In general, how willing or unwilling are you to take risks?” (risk preferences); “I assume that people have only the best intentions.” (trust).
For the personality traits, further validated scales and survey items are used. Concerning the Big Five, for children aged 6 to 11, mothers answer a 10-item Big Five inventory (Weinert et al. 2007 based on Asendorpf and Van Aken 2003). Children of age 10 or older and adults answer a 15-item Big Five inventory derived from John, Donahue, and Kentle (1991) and evaluated in Gerlitz and Schupp (2005). Locus of control is measured with children answering 5 items related to external and internal locus of control (using a visualized 5-point Likert scale). For adults, 10 items have to be answered that are adapted from Rotter (1966) and used in the 2005 wave of the German Socio-Economic Panel. To elicit self-control, we employ the widely applied 13-item version of the Tangney self-control scale (Tangney, Baumeister, and Boone 2004) for children of age 12 and above as well as for adults, and for the younger children the Impulsivity Scale for Children developed by Tsukayama, Duckworth, and Kim (2013). We measure self-esteem using the 10-item Rosenberg self-esteem scale (Rosenberg 1965).
Regarding cognitive ability (IQ), we elicit one measure of crystallized and one of fluid IQ, which together form overall IQ (Cattell 1971). We measure fluid IQ using the matrix test of the well-established Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) or the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS). For crystallized IQ, we use the vocabulary test for children and the corresponding word meaning test for adults that are both subtests of the respective Wechsler Intelligence scales, adapted to the specific context of Bangladesh.
We collect information on attendance, retention, dropout, grades, and, for grade 5, centrally administered tests for math and Bengali from the school records. Possibly, these will be combined with even more extensive data on children’s educational attainment if available. Furthermore, we collect information on teachers’ backgrounds that include their education, training and experience, as well as information on school infrastructure and management committee. Besides quantitative measures we gather qualitative data in order to understand possible pathways impacting outcomes.
To evaluate mental health, we use two complementary measures: First, a standard visualized life satisfaction 7-point Likert scale for children and a similar, 11-point Likert scale for adults. Second, mothers answer for their children the Bengali version of the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) (Goodman 1997), a behavioral screening questionnaire that is a well-established tool for evaluating interventions. Its 25 items are divided between 5 scales: emotional symptoms, conduct problems, hyperactivity/inattention, peer relationship problems, and prosocial behavior.
While many typical risky behaviors like excess drinking, drug use, or teenage sex are not an issue in rural Bangladesh, we ask children from 10 years onwards and adults about their smoking and gambling behavior as well as more common risky behaviors such as climbing up trees and houses, or getting into physical fights, for example.
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