Resilience to economic shocks through continued electricity access in Kenya

Last registered on July 09, 2021

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
July 09, 2021, 12:00 PM EDT

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School

Other Primary Investigator(s)

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
PI Affiliation
Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago

Additional Trial Information

Status
Completed
Start date
2020-04-01
End date
2021-06-30
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. 2021. "Resilience to economic shocks through continued electricity access in Kenya." AEA RCT Registry. July 09. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.5941-2.0
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2020-06-01
Intervention End Date
2020-12-31

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
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

PreAnalysisPlan_Covid_LMCP-REPP.pdf

MD5: 5616618e323df1874ffbea4edc73bfc6

SHA1: 34196fbfb6f2cefe8f9c3aa52bab1f06e523bfc0

Uploaded At: October 09, 2020

Data Management Plan

MD5: b1665ffa4fdaf10fe61ad495239db719

SHA1: 0ac33081faba912e831909976ca47d3879d77ea9

Uploaded At: June 04, 2020

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
Yes
Intervention Completion Date
November 30, 2020, 12:00 +00:00
Data Collection Complete
Yes
Data Collection Completion Date
December 31, 2020, 12:00 +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
No
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?
No

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials