Health information on household air pollution, LPG uptake, and women's welfare in rural India
Last registered on March 19, 2019

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Health information on household air pollution, LPG uptake, and women's welfare in rural India
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0003774
Initial registration date
January 21, 2019
Last updated
March 19, 2019 3:52 AM EDT
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Indian School of Business
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Indian Statistical Institute
PI Affiliation
Indian Statistical Institute
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2018-11-01
End date
2020-01-15
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Use of solid fuels for cooking is one of the significant contributors to household air pollution. Our research investigates the constraints households face in switching from solid fuels to Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG), a cleaner fuel. We provide information on the adverse health effects of solid fuel use to randomly selected households and estimate the impact of this information campaign on the take-up and utilization of LPG. In a separate treatment arm, we provide information on the subsidy-corrected price of LPG refill cylinders in addition to the health benefits of using LPG. Switching to cleaner fuels can make a significant difference in health outcomes, particularly respiratory disorders, among women and children by reducing exposure to household air pollution. Additionally, it may empower women by reducing their time spent in collecting firewood and cooking using inefficient fuels. We explore the effects of health and financial information on using LPG on health expenditure, women's gender relations, time-use, and labor market outcomes.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Afridi, Farzana, Sisir Debnath and E Somanathan. 2019. "Health information on household air pollution, LPG uptake, and women's welfare in rural India." AEA RCT Registry. March 19. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/3774/history/43647
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
The gender gap in time use – especially related to cooking and fuel collection – constrains women’s participation in remunerative activities. Moreover, the use of solid fuels has greater adverse health effects on women due to more exposure vis-à-vis men. Most households do not seem to be aware of the long-term adverse effects of solid fuel usage on health. They are also not fully aware of the financial incentives and subsidies provided by the government on using LPG. This study seeks to explore the barriers of switching to LPG from traditional cooking fuels. We provide information to rural households about the long-term health risks associated with solid fuels as well as the financial incentive provided under government programs and assess the impact of the information campaign on the take-up and utilization of LPG. The project will also examine the effect of the information campaign on health expenditure, time-use, and gender relations.
Intervention Start Date
2019-01-05
Intervention End Date
2019-09-30
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
The primary outcome of the experiment is the quantity of liquid petroleum gas purchased per household per year. In addition, we will explore the variation in the main outcome variable by season.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
1) Awareness of adverse health effects of solid fuels. In particular, whether cooking with traditional fuels causes (a) low birth weight, (b) pneumonia, (c) polio, (d) tuberculosis, (e) heart disease, (f) cataract, (g) diabetes, (h) anemia, and (i) lung cancer.

2) The use of solid fuels (yes/no) by the household in the month preceding the survey.

3) What type of fuel was used to prepare the most recent meal? How much time did it take to prepare this meal?

4) The hours per week spent by the household on fuel collection in the month preceding the survey.

5) The quantities and expenditure on firewood and dung cakes purchased in the month preceding the survey.

6) The hours spent by the primary cook in the day preceding the survey on (a) fuel collection and cooking, (b) leisure activities and (c) work outside the home.

7) Whether any household member reported having a cough, chest pain, eye irritation, breathing issues, or pneumonia in the month preceding the survey. Treatment cost in the last month on these diseases.

8) Whether any household member reported having any major morbidity such as asthma, tuberculosis, or lung cancer. Treatment cost in the last year on these diseases.

9) The decision-making abilities of the primary cook in the household on (a) what to cook on a daily basis? (b) whether to buy an expensive item? (c) what to do if she falls sick? (d) what to do if her child falls sick?

10) The psychosocial wellbeing of the primary cook while cooking. In particular, the intensity of their feelings of impatience, happiness, frustration, competency, contentment, and tiredness while preparing the last meal.





Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
A time-use survey based on 24-hour recall will be used to measure the effect of LPG usage on women’s time utilization, particularly on collecting firewood and cooking, and its subsequent effects on the time released for other activities – leisure, childcare, and labor force participation – on the intensive and extensive margins. The health of women and children will be measured through self-reported health status, including indicators of respiratory health. The measures of psychosocial wellbeing of the primary cook are self-reported on an ordered scale.
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
There is a lack of awareness regarding the long-term adverse health effects of using solid fuel. It is particularly harmful to pregnant women and can lead to premature birth and low birth weight. More importantly, these effects can go into adulthood. The government of India subsidizes consumption of LPG. After purchasing a cylinder refill at market price from one of the three state-owned oil marketing companies, households are entitled to receive the subsidy in the form a direct transfer to their bank account. However, many households are not aware of the subsidy amounts and perceive out-of-pocket expenditure for LPG as the same as the market price.

This study attempts to estimate the effects of the lack of awareness on the adverse health effects of solid fuel and financial incentive under government programs on the usage of LPG. In a set of randomly selected 50 villages, we disseminate information on the long-term adverse health effects of using solid fuels using multimedia resources. In another 50 randomly chosen villages, we disseminate information on the health effects of solid fuel and the subsidies available under government programs for using LPG. The unit of randomization is a village to ensure that there is no spillover of information. The information campaigns will be conducted through the existing network of ASHAs (Accredited Social Health Activist) by visiting 20 randomly selected households in ‘treatment’ villages on a monthly basis. At the end of a year, the responses of women in targeted villages will be compared with households in 50 control villages which were not part of the information campaign.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
The randomization was done in the office by a computer.
Randomization Unit
The unit of randomization is a village.
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
150 villages.
Sample size: planned number of observations
3,000 households.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
50 villages
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
1 refill per household with 85% power at 5% significance level
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Institute for Financial Managment and Reserach Human Subjects Committee
IRB Approval Date
2018-12-22
IRB Approval Number
IRB00007107
IRB Name
Review Committee for Protection of research Risks to Humans, Indian Statistical Institute
IRB Approval Date
2018-08-01
IRB Approval Number
ISI-IEC/2018/08/01
Analysis Plan

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