Evaluating Alternative Cash Transfer Designs in Kenya Using Behavioral Economics

Last registered on September 12, 2017

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Evaluating Alternative Cash Transfer Designs in Kenya Using Behavioral Economics
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0000541
Initial registration date
November 05, 2014
Last updated
September 12, 2017, 8:35 PM EDT

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
UC San Diego

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Chicago
PI Affiliation
University of Warwick
PI Affiliation
Harvard University

Additional Trial Information

Status
Completed
Start date
2014-11-10
End date
2016-04-30
Secondary IDs
Abstract
This study aims to draw on insights from behavioral economics to conduct a rigorous impact evaluation of alternative unconditional cash transfer designs in Kenya. The study's implementing partner, GiveDirectly, which provides unconditional cash transfers to poor households in rural Kenya, will be experimentally varying several features of these transfers. One area of focus will be the timing of transfers, where GiveDirectly will vary the structure and schedule of transfer payments, as well as recipients' control over these timing aspects. A second area of focus will be the role of social information and norms, varying the amount and kind of information recipients receive about assets purchased by their peers. This study will exploit the variation across these different designs to quantify impacts on 1) household-level socio-economic outcomes (income, assets, etc.), 2) measures of well-being (food security, intra-household discord/conflict, various psychosocial scales), and 3) recipients' decision-making process and cognitive ability.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
, et al. 2017. "Evaluating Alternative Cash Transfer Designs in Kenya Using Behavioral Economics." AEA RCT Registry. September 12. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.541-2.0
Former Citation
, et al. 2017. "Evaluating Alternative Cash Transfer Designs in Kenya Using Behavioral Economics." AEA RCT Registry. September 12. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/541/history/21368
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
All households in this study will receive an unconditional cash transfer totaling around $1000 USD from GiveDirectly. The structure and timing of these transfers, as well as the information provided to recipients, will be randomized at the household level.
Intervention Start Date
2014-11-10
Intervention End Date
2016-03-15

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Key outcome variables include 1) household-level socio-economic outcomes (income, assets, etc.), 2) measures of overall well-being (food security, intra-household discord/conflict, various psychosocial scales), and 3) recipients' decision-making process and cognitive ability.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The experimental design comprises two arms looking at 1) transfer structure and 2) information sharing.

On transfer structure, cash transfer recipients will be asked to choose the timing and tranching of payments that they would most prefer to receive their transfer. One randomly selected group of recipients will receive the transfer according to their preferred payment structure and schedule, while the other group will be assigned a random payment structure and schedule.

On information sharing, the study will take a list of uncommon investments made by past recipients and randomly vary, at the recipient-investment level, (a) whether the recipient is told about this investment, and (b) if so, the type of information each recipient receives.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done in an office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Randomization will occur at the household level (since transfers are distributed at the household level).
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
510 households
Sample size: planned number of observations
510 households
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Information treatment
255 households get popularity information on 2-3 randomly selected investments (out of 5)
255 households get cost-benefit information on 2-3 randomly selected investments (out of 5)

Tranching treatment
240 households received one tranche
258 households received two tranches

Timing treatment
Among households that received 1 tranche, 18:32:23:23:18:18:18:18:18:18:18:18 were assigned to receive this in months 1-12, respectively
Among households that received 2 tranches, 38:61:42:39:39:39 were assigned to receive their first tranche in months 1-6, respectively, with the second tranche to come 6 months after the first
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Supporting Documents and Materials

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IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Maseno University Ethics Review Board
IRB Approval Date
2014-10-15
IRB Approval Number
MSU/DRPC/MUERC/00105/14
IRB Name
Social and Behavioral Sciences Institutional Review Board at the University of Chicago
IRB Approval Date
2014-10-28
IRB Approval Number
IRB14-1019-AM001
Analysis Plan

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Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
No
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?
No

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials