Welfare effects of a non-contributory old age pension: experimental evidence for Ekiti State in Nigeria
Last registered on January 25, 2019

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Welfare effects of a non-contributory old age pension: experimental evidence for Ekiti State in Nigeria
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0003147
Initial registration date
January 23, 2019
Last updated
January 25, 2019 4:00 AM EST
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Initiative for Evidence Based Development and Empowerment
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Initiative for Evidence Based Development and Empowerment
PI Affiliation
The Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University
PI Affiliation
Center of Distributive, Labor and Social Studies
Additional Trial Information
Status
Completed
Start date
2011-11-01
End date
2015-07-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Many countries in the developing world have implemented non-contributory old-age pensions, however, evidence of the impacts of this policy on the elderly in Sub-Saharan Africa is scarce. This paper provides evidence from a randomized evaluation of an unconditional, non-contributory pension scheme targeted at the elderly in Ekiti State, Nigeria. This project stems from the local government which sought to improve the wellbeing of this group. Our goal is to examine the extent to which such a program can serve as an instrument to improve the wellbeing of elderly citizens. We collected data from 6,067 eligible beneficiaries across 112 electoral wards in Ekiti State. The randomization of beneficiaries was done at the ward level, where 3,230 beneficiaries were eligible to receive an unconditional cash transfer and 3,096 individuals were studied as controls. Our findings suggest that the treated beneficiaries self-reported better quality of life, a more stable mental health, and better health status. We also provide evidence of spillover effects on the labor outcomes and on the household expenditure patterns. This paper provides evidence-based support for demand side interventions aimed at improving the welfare of elderly poor citizens and other households members.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Alzua, Maria et al. 2019. "Welfare effects of a non-contributory old age pension: experimental evidence for Ekiti State in Nigeria." AEA RCT Registry. January 25. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.3147-1.0.
Former Citation
Alzua, Maria et al. 2019. "Welfare effects of a non-contributory old age pension: experimental evidence for Ekiti State in Nigeria." AEA RCT Registry. January 25. http://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/3147/history/40656.
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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
The government of Etiki State decided to implement an unconditional and non-contributory cash transfer program. Program beneficiaries were formally informed during the month of October 2013, and payment of cash benefits began in November 2013. Payments were made at designated payment centers monitored by the officials of the implementation agency.

The program payed a monthly cash amount of NGN 5,000 (approximately $32 USD) to elderly citizens of the state aged 65 years and above who were not receiving any pensions, and whose monthly income was less than NGN 3,000 ($19 USD). The cash amount represented around 28% of the national minimum wage of NGN 18,000 at the time, and 23% of the average monthly cost of living in Nigeria (NGN 22,094). This comes out to be just around a dollar a day, which is in line with the international poverty line.
Intervention Start Date
2013-11-01
Intervention End Date
2015-01-31
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Geriatric Depression, subjective well being
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Geriatric depression is constructed using a set of 15 questions that aimed to establish the mental health of the elderly population
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Other household members' labor market outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
The randomized assignment produced 56 wards with 3,230 eligible beneficiaries in the treatment group, and 56 wards with 3,096 beneficiaries in the control group. Figure 1 shows the random allocation of the experimental sample. The distribution of the eligible beneficiaries was balanced between the treatment and control wards.

The beneficiaries in the treatment areas were formally informed during the month of October 2013, and payment of cash benefits of N5,000 began in November 2013, following the random assignment. Payments were made at designated payment centres monitored by the officials of the implementation agency. In agreement with the government, eligible beneficiaries in the control areas would receive their cash benefits after the completion of the second follow-up survey.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Computer
Randomization Unit
Ward level (smallest administrative unit in Nigeria)
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
112 wards
Sample size: planned number of observations
6300 elderly subjects
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
The randomization produced 56 wards comprising n=3,230 eligible beneficiaries in the treatment group, and 56 wards comprising n=3,096 beneficiaries in the control group.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
In order to get a standardized effect size of 0.20 and ICC=0.05, 100 clusters were required with at least 35 beneficiaries in each ward in order to achieve a power of 0.80 and at 5% significance level
Supporting Documents and Materials

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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?
Yes
Intervention Completion Date
January 30, 2014, 12:00 AM +00:00
Is data collection complete?
Yes
Data Collection Completion Date
November 30, 2014, 12:00 AM +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
112 wards
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
No
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
6067 elderly individuals
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
56 wards (3071 elderly individuals) were treated and 56 (2996 elderly individuals) were assigned to the control group
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers