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Aspirational Hope and Productivity: A Randomized Control Trial Among Dairy Farmers in Bolivia
Last registered on August 30, 2019

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Aspirational Hope and Productivity: A Randomized Control Trial Among Dairy Farmers in Bolivia
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0003798
Initial registration date
July 04, 2019
Last updated
August 30, 2019 7:56 PM EDT
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of Groningen
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
University of San Francisco
PI Affiliation
Wageningen University
PI Affiliation
University of Groningen and Wageningen University
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2019-01-01
End date
2019-12-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Internal constrains are receiving increasing attention in development economics, since they can help understand poverty dynamics. Focusing on these constraints, our study evaluates the impacts of an aspirational hope intervention among Bolivian milk producers. The intervention consists of showing farmers a video of local role models, followed by a series of workshops on aspirational hope, referred to as ‘hope curriculum’. We hypothesize that our intervention can reduce aspirational failure and assuage learned hopelessness, improving aspirations and consequently productivity. Our setting is uniquely placed to bridge the gap between aspirations and productivity, and study changes in the latter. Contrary to previous work on aspirations, our sample is relatively homogeneous and comprised entirely of smallholder dairy farmers—facilitating the measurement and comparison of productivity. We work with 549 milk producers organized in 52 milk delivery points. We stratify our sample by municipality and number of farmers in delivery points. Then, we randomly assign half of the delivery points to either treatment or control groups.
Registration Citation
Citation
Garcia, Adriana et al. 2019. "Aspirational Hope and Productivity: A Randomized Control Trial Among Dairy Farmers in Bolivia." AEA RCT Registry. August 30. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.3798-1.1.
Former Citation
Garcia, Adriana et al. 2019. "Aspirational Hope and Productivity: A Randomized Control Trial Among Dairy Farmers in Bolivia." AEA RCT Registry. August 30. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/3798/history/52660.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Focusing on aspirational hope, our study aims to relax internal constraints among farmers in Bolivia. We intend to improve their aspirations, perceived agency and visualization of pathways. We show a 15-minute video 3 times, at bi-weekly intervals, followed by 30-minute coaching sessions. The video presents two role models that have successfully grown their milk producing business over the last years. The coaching sessions deepen the three aspects of aspirational hope. The first session focuses only on aspirations, the second session comprises pathways and self-efficacy, and the last session summarizes the three aspects.
Intervention Start Date
2019-04-01
Intervention End Date
2019-06-05
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
We use four main outcome families:
1. Aspirational hope
2. Aspired productivity
3. Productivity
4. Practices
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
1. Aspirational hope
We use three indexes (aspirations, pathways and agency) based on Lybbert & Wydick (2017) and originally by Snyder (1994). We construct each index based on the farmers’ level of agreement with four sentences (from 6-totally agree to 1-totally disagree), following Kling et al. (2007) or Anderson (2008).
a) Aspirations index
- According to you, it is better to learn to accept the reality of things than to dream of a better future.
- According to you, it is better to have aspirations for your family than to accept each day as it comes.
- When you have a milk business, it is important to set goals.
- You have specific goals and plans for the future growth of your milk business.
b) Pathways index
- You can think of many ways to get out of a jam.
- There are many opportunities around you to reach your goals.
- According to you, there are lots of ways around any problem.
- When you cannot sell your milk to a buyer, you can use and/or transform it so it does not get lost.
c) Agency index
- You energetically pursue your goals.
- Your past experiences have prepared you well for your future.
- Your personal effort and that of your family is the main reason for your achievements and successes.
- You meet the goals that you set for yourself.

2. Aspired productivity
We ask farmers their aspired daily production and their aspired number of cows they would like to have in two years. Then, we construct the productivity variable by dividing the aspired daily produced liters of milk over the aspired number of milking cows in 2 years. As robustness check we will take the logarithmic transformation of these variables.

3. Productivity
We calculate the average daily produced liters of milk as the mean of the produced liters of milk on the day of the survey and the two previous days. We directly ask farmers their number of milking cows currently active (i.e. not pregnant or too young or old to be milked). Then, we use the ratio of these two variables to calculate the productivity per cow. We will take the logarithmic transformation as a robustness check.

4. With the aid of local agronomists and veterinarians we developed three indexes around productivity enhancing practices, quality increasing practices and information-seeking behavior. Farmers respond yes or no to whether they apply the following practices in the last three months. We will take the raw sum of positive answers as a proxy. As a robustness check we will also transform the index to extract its underlying factor, using factor analysis.

We argue that changes in practices are correlated to changes in perceived pathways and agency. Therefore, we expect to find changes in productivity enhancing practices and quality increasing practices if the agency index changes and to find changes in information-seeking behavior if pathways index changes.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
One treatment group that will receive the full intervention (video and curriculum) and one pure control group
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization by computer using Excel
Randomization Unit
We cluster farmers at delivery point level. A delivery point is composed of farmers organized to deliver milk to a milk company altogether in the same location. A delivery point is a smaller unit than a community, e.g. there can be one or more delivery points within a community.
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
52 delivery points
Sample size: planned number of observations
549 farmers –from administrative data
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Control: 26 modules = 269 farmers
Treatment: 26 modules = 280 farmers
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
In Pre-Analysis Plan
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Institutional Review Board, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Groningen, the Netherlands
IRB Approval Date
2019-02-04
IRB Approval Number
#RDMPFEB-20190116-7702
Analysis Plan

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