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Girl's Economic Empowerment: Long Term Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Tanzanian Schools
Last registered on June 16, 2016

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Girl's Economic Empowerment: Long Term Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Tanzanian Schools
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0000511
Initial registration date
September 17, 2014
Last updated
June 16, 2016 3:48 AM EDT
Location(s)
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
NHH
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
ESRF
PI Affiliation
CMI
PI Affiliation
NHH Norwegian School of Economics
PI Affiliation
DPC
PI Affiliation
NHH Norwegian School of Economics
Additional Trial Information
Status
Completed
Start date
2013-04-01
End date
2017-06-30
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Teenage pregnancies are common in many low-income countries, but the reasons for why teenage girls become pregnant are not well understood. This is particularly unfortunate in a low-income context where pregnancy among young girls can result in illegal and often dangerous abortions, the spread of HIV/AIDS and, more generally, poor health, educational, and economic outcomes.

The present study takes place in Tanzania and investigates the fertility and economic decisions of girls when they are on the verge of making two of the most important decisions in their lives: what to do when leaving school and whether to start childbearing.

The present project investigates whether early childbearing reflects a lack of empowerment among young girls in Tanzania, with a focus on two different empowerment strategies. First, we offer an information treatment where young girls are targeted with detailed and extensive information about reproductive health, gender equality, and rights. Second, we offer an opportunity treatment where young girls are targeted with entrepreneurship training to improve their skills on how to run a business. Both treatments aim at empowering girls, but through different channels. The information treatment represents in many ways the classical approach in the field, where the underlying idea is that teenage pregnancies reflect lack of relevant information and personal control. The opportunity treatment, on the other hand, investigates whether teenage pregnancies to a large extent reflect a lack of economic opportunities. By comparing these two treatments, the study will provide novel insights on the relative importance of providing information and opportunities to adolescent girls, which is important both from a theoretical and a policy perspective. In addition, since there may be important complementarities in how the two treatments work, we also offer a cross-treatment to a subsample of the girls.

An ultimate goal of this research project is to inform the design of sound policies, and we are thus particularly careful to develop a cost-effective intervention with scaling-up potential: all treatments are evaluated and compared not only in terms of impact but also on their relative economic costs. The interventions are based on current practices of our partners, which makes it easier to scale up the successful parts of the project and, more generally, to use the knowledge from the project to improve existing policies.


The main aim of the long-term follow-up is to study whether there are any behavioral and welfare changes due to the training programs, and whether the short term effects on gender equality attitudes and empowerment are persistent.

The long-term follow-up survey was conducted as telephone interviews one year after the last training session. The survey also includes incentivized questions on patience.

For more details, see the attached questionnaire.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
berge, lars ivar oppedal et al. 2016. "Girl's Economic Empowerment: Long Term Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Tanzanian Schools." AEA RCT Registry. June 16. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.511-3.0.
Former Citation
berge, lars ivar oppedal et al. 2016. "Girl's Economic Empowerment: Long Term Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Tanzanian Schools." AEA RCT Registry. June 16. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/511/history/8871.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2013-07-01
Intervention End Date
2013-09-30
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
B1, B2 /B3, B4, G1, G2, E1, E2, W1, W2, W3, W4, W5 as described below
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Behavior:

B1. Pregnancy. Indicator variable=1 if the girl is or has been pregnant. This is question 148 in the long-term follow-up questionnaire.

B2 = Startup of business/farming. Indicator variable=1 if the girl has business and/or a farming/poultry/livestock activity. This is question 27, 28 and 29 in the long-term follow-up questionnaire.

B3= Sales in a normal week from these business and/or farming/poultry/livestock activities. This is the sum of question 32, 36, 40, 44, 48, 52, 56, 60, 64, 68, 72, 76, 80, 84, 88, 92, 96, 100, 104, 108, 112, 116, 120, 124, 128 & 132 in the long-term follow-up questionnaire.
Since many girls are likely to have zero-total sales, we use the inverse hyperbolic sine transformation of the outcome (see,Card and DellaVigna, 2013)

B4=Patience. Indicator variable =1 if the girl chooses to wait for 1 month before receiving her phone voucher (and thereby receiving 5000 TZS instead of receiving 2000 TZS today). This is question number 164 in the long-term survey.

Gender equality

G1 = Indicator variable=1 if the girl responds yes to the following question ( that comes from the DHS – Tanzania): “Do you agree that a husband is justified in hitting or beating his wife if she goes out without telling him?” (Yes/No) This is question 151 in the long-term follow-up questionnaire.

G2 = Response value to the following question: “It is acceptable to me that a wife earns more money than her husband” (question 152 in the long-term follow-up questionnaire). The response is on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is “strongly disagrees” and 5 is “strongly agrees”.

Empowerment

E1 = Response value to the following question, where we ask whether they agree that “I have little control about things that happen to me”. The response is on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is strongly disagrees and 5 is “strongly agrees”. This is question 149 in the long-term follow-up questionnaire.

E2 =Response value to the following question, where we ask whether they agree that “I certainly feel useless at times”. The response is on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is strongly disagrees and 5 is “strongly agrees”. This is question 150 in the long-term follow-up questionnaire.


Welfare

W1= Response value to the following question, where we ask whether they agree that “I am very happy with my life», using the scale « 1. strongly disagree, 2. disagree, 3. neither agree nor disagree, 4. Agree, 5. strongly agree». This is question 153 in the long-term follow-up questionnaire.

W2 = Response value to the following question, where we ask “How happy are you with your health?”,using the scale “1. not happy at all, 2. somewhat unhappy, 3. neither happy nor unhappy, 4. somewhat happy, 5. very happy”. W2 is equal to the response value. This is question 154 in the long-term follow-up questionnaire.

W3 = Response value to the following question, where we ask “How happy are you with your economic situation?», using the scale « “1. not happy at all, 2. somewhat unhappy, 3. neither happy nor unhappy, 4. somewhat happy, 5. very happy”». W2 is equal to the response value. This is question 155 in the long-term follow-up questionnaire.

W4 = Indicator variable=1 if the girl responds a strictly positive number on the following question: “During the last week, how many days were you too sick to work?”. This is question 157 in the long-term follow-up questionnaire.

W5 = This is the sum of all income and profit the girls gets in a normal week, which is
the sum of question 26, 37, 41, 45, 49, 53, 57, 61, 65, 69, 73, 77, 81, 85, 89, 93, 97, 101, 105, 109, 113, 117, 121, 125, 129, 133, 135, 137 in the long-term follow-up questionnaire.
Since many girls are likely to have zero-income, we use the inverse hyperbolic sine transformation of the outcome (see, Card and DellaVigna, 2013).
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
We sampled schools with at least 20 girls in Form IV in the following regions: Tabora, Singida, Morogoro and Dodoma. In each school, we did a baseline survey of the girls enrolled in Form IV and surveyed the headmaster of each school, who provided us with detailed information about school characteristics.

The schools were then randomly allocated to the control group or one of the three treatments. The randomization was blocked by school-size (below or above 40 girls in Form IV) and by region.

After the baseline survey, one or two teachers per (treated) school attended a one week instructor session organized by Femina HIP (two weeks for the teachers involved in the combined treatment). After this instructor sessions, the teachers implemented the training sessions (treatments) with all the Form IV girls of their school. The single treatments had 8 training sessions of 1.5 to 2 hours, 1 session per week. The cross-treatments had 16 training sessions of 1.5 to 2 hours, two sessions per week.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
We randomized at the school-level, with blocking to ensure balance in two dimensions:
- school size (more or less than 40 girls in Form IV)
- region (Tabora, Singida, Morogoro and Dodoma)

We followed David McKenzie and Miriam Bruhn’s recommendations in dealing with the uneven numbers in some strata and in doing the randomization used the stata code they shared on the World Bank’s “Development Impact” blog on the 11th of June 2011.
Randomization Unit
We randomized at the school level. In each school, the unit of observation is all the girls enrolled in Form IV in the school-year of 2013.
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
As per our contract with the funding agency, The Research Council of Norway, we planned to survey 62 schools. During the baseline, we actually surveyed 80 schools.
Sample size: planned number of observations
As per our contract with the funding agency, we planned to survey an average of 50 students per school. Thus a total of 3 100 students. With the increase in the number of schools surveyed, we reached a total of 3 485 students at baseline.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
We planned to have 17 schools in the control group and 15 schools in each treatment. Having reached 18 more schools than initially planned, we randomly allocated 20 schools in each arm.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
The sample size was powered to detect changes in pregnancy rate, which is the most demanding variable to measure and therefore serves as a conservative estimate for the other variables of interest. We do not presently have pregnancy rates broken down by school (which is the relevant cluster unit), but data from the DHS 2010 combined with our qualitative insights from discussions with local partners indicate that pregnancy rates among past students from Form IV should be between 15% and 35% one year after the completion of Form IV. Taking into account the effect of clustering and the fact that we have three different treatment groups in addition to a control group, we have with the planned sample a power of 80% (with a 5% confidence interval) to detect a decrease in pregnancy rate from 25% to 20% (using the approach of Hayes and Moulton, 2009).
Supporting Documents and Materials

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IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

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Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers