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Government employee and beneficiary preferences about redistribution
Initial registration date
February 04, 2021
March 24, 2021 12:15 AM EDT
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Other Primary Investigator(s)
University of Arkansas
Additional Trial Information
This study is a survey experiment among conditional cash transfer program facilitators and beneficiaries in Indonesia to gauge how attitudes towards social protection programs are influenced by programmatic factors and how opinions on how rigidly the conditionality of cash transfers should be enforced may be affected by considering the enforcement of conditionality in one’s own community. This study is embedded in a larger survey of beneficiaries and facilitators of Indonesia’s PKH conditional cash transfer program which gathers information on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on Indonesia’s poorest households and communities. PKH is one of Indonesia’s principal social protection programs, serving 10 million of Indonesia’s poorest, nation-wide. We send online surveys to all PKH facilitators (approximately 36,000 facilitators) via WhatsApp and SMS and use dynamic random sampling to each facilitator to distribute surveys to up to 5 randomly selected beneficiaries.
Gaduh, Arya, Rema Hanna and Benjamin Olken. 2021. "Government employee and beneficiary preferences about redistribution." AEA RCT Registry. March 24.
This survey experiment contains two randomized questions:
1) We randomly present respondents with one of seven hypothetical social protection programs with different budget usage and beneficiary satisfaction characteristics and then ask them to assess program success.
2) We randomly ask respondents to consider the tradeoff between rigidity and leniency in the enforcement of cash transfer conditionality, either before or after asking about the enforcement of conditionality in their communities.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes (end points)
1) Perceived success of the hypothetical social protection program
2) Belief of the extent to which conditionality should be enforced rigidly or leniently
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
1) Perceived success of the hypothetical social protection program is measured by a 10-pt ordinal scale (1-unsuccessful to 10-successful)
2) Belief of the extent to which conditionality should be enforced rigidly or leniently is measured by a 10-pt ordinal scale (1- rigidly enforcing conditions to 10-being more lenient)
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Information on the impact of Covid-19 in Indonesia
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
This survey experiment is embedded in a longer survey which also collects information such as:
- How social protection programs are delivered
- Knowledge and prevalence of Covid-19
- Impacts of the pandemic to agriculture, employment, migration, food price, and food security
- Coping strategies of families during the pandemic
This study is embedded in a larger survey of beneficiaries and facilitators of Indonesia’s PKH conditional cash transfer program which gathers information on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on Indonesia’s poorest households and communities. We send online surveys to all PKH facilitators (approximately 36,000 facilitators) via WhatsApp and SMS and use dynamic random sampling to each facilitator to distribute surveys to up to 5 randomly selected beneficiaries. Each survey contains two experimental questions:
1) Each respondent is asked to evaluate the success of one hypothetical social program characterized by a set of quantifiable program characteristics. This hypothetical scenario is randomized such that each respondent receives only one of seven possible versions. Respondents are then asked to assess the success of the program. The levels of each program characteristics in each of the seven scenarios are designed to facilitate an analysis of how these characteristics influence perceptions of program success.
2) Each respondent is asked to consider the tradeoff between rigidity and leniency in the enforcement of cash transfer conditionality. This question is asked either randomly before or after asking how many beneficiaries in the respondent’s community have had conditional cash transfer payments reduced or suspended in the last 2 years due to failure to meet conditionality requirements.
Experimental Design Details
For the facilitators, we send out the survey to all facilitators on the official program roster.
Beneficiaries are randomly sampled using a dynamic algorithm within the facilitator survey which randomly selects up to 5 beneficiaries per facilitator, among all of a facilitator’s beneficiaries who have smartphones (necessary for completion of the online survey).
All experimental questions are randomized automatically by the survey platform.
Was the treatment clustered?
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
- Facilitators: 28,460 complete responses (95% could be matched to an official facilitator roster)
- Beneficiaries: 19,754 complete responses (85% could be matched to an official facilitator survey)
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Sample size by treatment arms for complete responses:
1. Hypothetical social programs
A. Facilitators Scenario 1 4.047
Scenario 2 4.069
Scenario 3 4.092
Scenario 4 4.073
Scenario 5 4.073
Scenario 6 4.036
Scenario 7 4.070
Scenario 1 2.830
Scenario 2 2.819
Scenario 3 2.822
Scenario 4 2.801
Scenario 5 2.823
Scenario 6 2.828
Scenario 7 2.831
2. Rigidity vs. leniency conditionality enforcement (asked before or after asking how many beneficiaries in the respondent’s community have had conditional payments reduced or suspended)
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
COUHES Committee on the Use of Humans as Experimental Subjects, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number