Efficiency and Equity Impacts of Energy Subsidies

Last registered on January 08, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Efficiency and Equity Impacts of Energy Subsidies
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0006999
Initial registration date
January 07, 2021
Last updated
January 08, 2021, 11:47 AM EST

Locations

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
University of Southern California

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation

Additional Trial Information

Status
Completed
Start date
2013-01-04
End date
2015-12-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Economic theory suggests that energy subsidies can lead to excessive consumption and environmental degradation. However, the precise impact of energy subsidies is not well understood. We will analyze a large energy subsidy: the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE). CARE provides a price reduction for low-income consumers of natural gas and electricity. We will randomize an encouragement to take up CARE, and then assess the impact that CARE has on energy use.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Hahn , Robert and Robert Metcalfe. 2021. "Efficiency and Equity Impacts of Energy Subsidies." AEA RCT Registry. January 08. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.6999-1.1
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
We will randomize an encouragement to sign up for CARE. The encouragement will have four different versions, which will be also be randomized.
Intervention Start Date
2013-01-04
Intervention End Date
2015-12-31

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Gas use per month.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We will randomize an encouragement to sign up for CARE across a set of energy customers. The experiment will take place in two waves.

The first wave: 1/5 of our sample will receive no encouragement, and then the remaining 4/5 customers will be given a randomized encouragement.

The second wave: 1/4 of our sample will receive no encouragement, and then the remaining 3/4 customers will be given a randomized encouragement.

Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done on stata.
Randomization Unit
Individual household
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Not applicable.
Sample size: planned number of observations
70,784
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
The first wave (36,796 households): 1/5 of our sample will receive no encouragement, and then the remaining 4/5 customers will be given a randomized encouragement.

The second wave (33,988 households): 1/4 of our sample will receive no encouragement, and then the remaining 3/4 customers will be given a randomized encouragement.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Study has received IRB approval. Details not available.
IRB Approval Date
Details not available
IRB Approval Number
Boston University IRB, 5821X

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