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Evaluating Alternative Cash Transfer Designs in Kenya Using Behavioral Economics
Last registered on November 05, 2014

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
November 05, 2014 2:57 AM EST
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of Chicago
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Harvard University
PI Affiliation
University of California, San Diego
PI Affiliation
University of Warwick
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
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
Mani, Anandi et al. 2014. "Evaluating Alternative Cash Transfer Designs in Kenya Using Behavioral Economics." AEA RCT Registry. November 05. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/541/history/3038
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 timing and 2) information sharing.

On transfer timing, cash transfer recipients will be asked to choose the timing and structure 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
Not available
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 Arm
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)

Timing Arm
280 households get preferred transfer schedule
230 households get random transfer schedule
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
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
IRB Name
Maseno University Ethics Review Board
IRB Approval Date
2014-10-15
IRB Approval Number
MSU/DRPC/MUERC/00105/14