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Resilience to economic shocks through continued electricity access in Kenya
Last registered on June 12, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Resilience to economic shocks through continued electricity access in Kenya
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0005941
Initial registration date
May 29, 2020
Last updated
June 12, 2020 5:43 PM EDT
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago
PI Affiliation
University of California at Berkeley
PI Affiliation
University of California at Berkeley
PI Affiliation
University of California at Berkeley
PI Affiliation
University of California at Berkeley
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2020-04-01
End date
2020-11-01
Secondary IDs
Abstract
As COVID-19 spreads in lower-income countries, access to electricity will be critical in allowing households and firms to continue productive activities, maintain economic connections remotely, and stay up-to-date on the latest public health guidelines. Meanwhile, restrictions aimed at slowing the epidemic will cause severe short-run economic impacts, particularly in the poorest communities where many may suddenly be unable to pay their monthly bills. In Kenya, we expect severe disruptions in markets to hamper the ability of firms and households to afford ongoing electricity consumption. In anticipation of this urgent problem, we propose providing emergency electricity credits to randomly-selected low-income respondents in Kenya to study the impacts of a policy subsidising utility bills during an economic crisis.

Our proposed research leverages two ongoing projects related to electricity access in seven counties in rural Kenya. We propose to complement this with a new sample of urban residents in Nairobi. This generates a sample of over 2,000 individuals with pre-paid meters, located at a mix of home and firm locations in both urban and rural areas. A randomly selected treatment group will receive monthly top-ups on their pre-paid meters for 3 months. Top-ups will be valued at 5 USD (30 kWh) per month, which is similar to the ‘lifeline’ tariff in Kenya, and is roughly equivalent to operating a modest set of appliances for one month. A subset of participants will be offered a choice between 5 USD in electricity subsidies or a randomized cash amount between 1-6 USD (we are currently piloting to inform the exact amount). This will allow us to estimate willingness to pay for electricity access, and thus estimate the value of electricity during an economic crisis. Kenya Power prepaid top-ups can be made via M-Pesa, which will allow us to automate these top-ups and avoid in-person interactions.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Berkouwer, Susanna et al. 2020. "Resilience to economic shocks through continued electricity access in Kenya." AEA RCT Registry. June 12. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.5941-1.2000000000000002.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2020-06-01
Intervention End Date
2020-08-01
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
- Electricity usage
- Total consumption expenditure
- Total household income
- Total hours worked outside the home (self-emp & emp)
- Total revenue for firms owned by household
- Food security index
- Child education index
- COVID Knowledge Index
- COVID Symptoms Index
- Number of social interactions in last 2 weeks
- Mental Health Index
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Our proposed research leverages two ongoing projects related to electricity access in seven counties in rural Kenya. We propose to complement this with a new sample of urban residents in Nairobi. This generates a sample of over 2,000 individuals with pre-paid meters, located at a mix of home and firm locations in both urban and rural areas. A randomly selected treatment group will receive monthly top-ups on their pre-paid meters for 3 months. Top-ups will be valued at 5 USD (30 kWh) per month, which is similar to the ‘lifeline’ tariff in Kenya, and is roughly equivalent to operating a modest set of appliances for one month. A subset of participants will be offered a choice between 5 USD in electricity subsidies or a randomized cash amount between 1-6 USD (we are currently piloting to inform the exact amount). This will allow us to estimate willingness to pay for electricity access, and thus estimate the value of electricity during an economic crisis. Kenya Power prepaid top-ups can be made via M-Pesa, which will allow us to automate these top-ups and avoid in-person interactions.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randmization in Stata using randtreat
Randomization Unit
Village
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
350
Sample size: planned number of observations
2000
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Equal distribution
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Berkeley CPHS
IRB Approval Date
2020-05-28
IRB Approval Number
2017-12-10599
Analysis Plan
Analysis Plan Documents
Data Management Plan

MD5: b1665ffa4fdaf10fe61ad495239db719

SHA1: 0ac33081faba912e831909976ca47d3879d77ea9

Uploaded At: June 04, 2020

Pre-Analysis Plan

MD5: 5d3e2ab664c0e38d193dfe1d90ce9a02

SHA1: e25f3f95c70c8945bde5cf8d4439c73df06d548d

Uploaded At: June 12, 2020