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Female Empowerment, Bank Savings Product Design, and Agricultural Development in Ethiopia
Last registered on August 17, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Female Empowerment, Bank Savings Product Design, and Agricultural Development in Ethiopia
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0006295
Initial registration date
August 15, 2020
Last updated
August 17, 2020 1:16 PM EDT
Location(s)
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Carleton University
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Status
Completed
Start date
2015-07-01
End date
2020-08-01
Secondary IDs
Abstract
This financial intervention provides small subsidies to cover the pecuniary costs of opening formal savings accounts to 1200 agricultural households in rural Ethiopia. Our intervention focuses on assessing the role of saving product design i.e., single vs. joint deposit accounts, on a large set of individual and household outcomes. This study is an attempt to determine how access to single or joint saving products leads to differences in decision-making authority and control over resources that in turn lead to changes in labor and schooling outcomes, agricultural inputs and crop output, and which ultimately lead to changes in households’ consumption, income, and subjective well-being.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Galdo, Jose. 2020. "Female Empowerment, Bank Savings Product Design, and Agricultural Development in Ethiopia." AEA RCT Registry. August 17. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.6295-1.0.
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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Following a number of recent studies which show that access to formal saving accounts benefits households through different outcomes of interest, we implement a financial intervention that provides small subsidies to cover the pecuniary costs of opening formal savings accounts to 1200 agricultural households in rural Ethiopia. Our intervention focuses on assessing the role of saving product design i.e., single vs. joint deposit accounts, on a large set of individual and household outcomes. This intervention is an attempt to determine how access to single or joint saving products leads to differences in decision-making authority and control over resources that in turn lead to changes in labor and schooling outcomes, agricultural inputs and crop output, and which ultimately lead to changes in households’ consumption, income, and subjective well-being. By randomly assigning single saving accounts to heads of households and joint saving accounts to both spouses, we arguably exogenously shift the household income-sharing rule between these two treatment groups by providing female spouses an economic opportunity to manage and control household savings through formal joint saving accounts. Following collective models of household-decision-making (e.g., Browning and Chiappori 1998, Lundberg and Pollak 1993), one would expect to observe asymmetric preferences for goods and services, particularly in this rural, patriarchal setting in which it is commonly believed that men and women have different rights and obligations concerning private and collective spending of household income (e.g., Bruce 1989). To the extent that women might have stronger preferences than men for children’s welfare, we expect to observe heterogeneous responses to children’s schooling demand.
Intervention Start Date
2015-12-01
Intervention End Date
2018-04-30
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
formal savings (deposits and balances), farm labor, schooling, income, expenditures, trust, basic financial literacy, food security, smoothing consumption, agricultural investments, agricultural crop output, livestock, and women's empowerment, subjective well being.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
In any study of this type, where there are many possible outcomes, there is a potential problem of overinterpreting any single significant result. To avoid that, we report multiple outcomes of interest across several dimensions of interest, ensuring no selection of outcomes based on significance levels. Moreover, following standard practices for each “family” of outcomes, we report a normalized index of all the outcomes in the family taken together. Finally, for each of these index outcomes, we report both the standard p-value and the p-value adjusted for multiple hypotheses testing across all the indices following the Hochberg procedure (Hochberg 1988), which controls for the family-wise false discovery error rate for all indices.
For Women's empowerment, we focus on three domains: financial, time allocation and production. For each one of these domains we asked respondents a battery of questions pertaining bargaining decision power variables that will be computed through principal component analysis.
For the measurement of smoothing consumption, we interact negative shocks experience by the household with the treatment dummy indicators and regress it on several indicators of food security.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Our research design offers subsidies to small-scale Fairtrade farmers to cover pecuniary costs involved in the opening of formal saving accounts in rural Ethiopia. These transactions costs include the pecuniary costs associate to obtaining two passport-size pictures, transportation to and from the bank branch, and the required minimum account balance. These subsidies are distributed through vouchers that are tailored according to the randomly assigned saving group: we set a one-time, small subsidy of 70 Birr (US$ 3.20) for single saving accounts and slightly higher subsidies of 100 Birr (US$4.50) for joint saving accounts. We also offered a marketing and financial education workshop through public events in which farmers received a half-day financial training on basic bank operations and bank regulations on single and joint deposit accounts, as well as messages reinforcing social capital (trust) on formal banking institutions.
The sampling framework follows from a population of 5100 agricultural households who belong to four Fairtrade coffee cooperatives located in Jimma (2) and Sidama (2) in rural Ethiopia. This sampling frame comes from the cooperatives’ 2014 administrative records. This population framework entails geographic, cultural, and agricultural output variation. Based on this population we select a representative sample based on a 2x2 stratified design applied independently to each Fairtrade cooperative. Stratification is based on two variables of interest, level of coffee production and the gender of the heads of households. In doing so, we split the population of Fairtrade members into high- and low-production groups according to whether households’ production is above or below the 2014 per-household median of coffee production. The resulting stratified sample is composed of 1,200 households. The allocation of household units to treatment and control groups is implemented through complete randomization at the household level by simple random methods. As a result, 450 households were assigned to the single-account treatment group, 450 to the joint-account treatment group, and the remaining 300 to a pure control group. The setting of this study covers two remote, agricultural areas of Ethiopia within the preeminent coffee-producing regions of the country. Our financial intervention covers 12 rural districts (Kebeles) across two provinces, Jimma and Sidama, in the west- and south-central parts of the country. These two areas entail an important cultural variation. Orthodox Christian households (55 percent of our sample) mainly populate Sidama, while Jimma is a predominantly Muslim area (45 percent).

A cross-randomized, complementary design was implemented to investigate the role of commitment incentives on take-up rates and short-term (6 months) account usage. Specifically, we randomly split the treatment group households into three equal-sized sub-samples and offered them marginal variations in some salient features of the account. The first randomly assigned group is the ‘standard’, single- or joint-account treatment households, the default treatment group. The second randomly assigned group was offered an additional reward equivalent to 2.5% on the saving balance if account holders actively used the account within the next six months from setting up the account. This short-term ‘active’ account usage was defined as having at least two monetary deposits and a positive saving balance in the account as of July 1st, 2016, six months following the intervention. The third randomly assigned group was offered an additional prize equivalent to 2.5% on the saving balance if an account holder did not withdraw her initial deposit until July 1st, 2016. Information about these additional incentives and their corresponding vouchers were provided during the individual household visits implemented as part of the outreach campaign in December 2015/January 2016. This cross-randomized allocation design means that we have the same number of household units (300) in each of four independent farmers groups, including the pure control group
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Households
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
No clusters were used
Sample size: planned number of observations
1200 households
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
900 treated households, 300 control households
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Supporting Documents and Materials
Documents
Document Name
Follow up survey II
Document Type
survey_instrument
Document Description
Follow up survey questionnaire: 27 months
File
Follow up survey II

MD5: fd798a67179c18876980b8150ca60d46

SHA1: 8a68ec1030048ada0ea83f798b852fe3ee227bba

Uploaded At: August 15, 2020

Document Name
Follow up survey I
Document Type
survey_instrument
Document Description
Follow up survey questionnaire: 12 months
File
Follow up survey I

MD5: ccf52f399064e140ab92e6e80f8dea47

SHA1: ec2fd326e0aa8aadd3fa7abb53740071d7a8f287

Uploaded At: August 15, 2020

Document Name
Baseline Survey
Document Type
survey_instrument
Document Description
Baseline survey questionnaire
File
Baseline Survey

MD5: 751fb09eed8fc53e7dbd5f300ef1ca8b

SHA1: ca02d77be2b7ea8de68c4dc95bc7b91c871acbd6

Uploaded At: August 15, 2020

IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
The Carleton University Research Ethics Board-A (CUREB-A)
IRB Approval Date
2015-07-01
IRB Approval Number
Project #: 102167
IRB Name
The Carleton University Research Ethics Board-A (CUREB-A)
IRB Approval Date
2017-02-28
IRB Approval Number
Project #: 106132
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
Yes
Intervention Completion Date
February 28, 2016, 12:00 AM +00:00
Is data collection complete?
Yes
Data Collection Completion Date
April 30, 2018, 12:00 AM +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
no clusters were used
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
No
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
1174 households (~98% of original sample)
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
882 households in the treatment group and 292 households in the control group.
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
Yes
Program Files
Program Files
No
Reports, Papers & Other Materials
Relevant Paper(s)
REPORTS & OTHER MATERIALS