NEW UPDATE: Completed trials may now upload and register supplementary documents (e.g. null results reports, populated pre-analysis plans, or post-trial results reports) in the Post Trial section under Reports, Papers, & Other Materials.
Effects of Aspirations and Scarcity on Cookstove Purchasing
Last registered on June 16, 2015


Trial Information
General Information
Effects of Aspirations and Scarcity on Cookstove Purchasing
Initial registration date
June 16, 2015
Last updated
June 16, 2015 7:29 AM EDT
Primary Investigator
Busara Center for Behavioral Economics
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Effects of Aspirations and Scarcity on Cookstove Purchasing
Additional Trial Information
On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
The study aims to test the impact of two interventions designed to affect the decision to purchase improved cookstoves. In order to test the impact of the interventions, a sample of participants from Kibera, a large slum in Nairobi, were randomly selected into two treatment groups and one control group. All groups were subjected to personality tests and information was also collated on various demographic attributes prior to the treatments to allow determination of the causal effect of each treatment. At the end of the session respondents were all offered the option to purchase a cook stove in a lottery setting designed to establish the willingness to pay for a cook stove for each respondent. The two treatment groups were designed to test the impact of scarcity and as- pirations on the cook stove purchase decision. The control group received market- ing information about the benefits of improved cookstoves. The second and third treatment groups received the same marketing information in addition to another treatment. The second treatment group followed the format of the control except that participants were told that the number of cookstoves available for purchase was limited in order to generate a feeling of scarcity. The third treatment group received ‘aspirational’ thinking priming. Respondents were induced into an ‘aspirational mind-set’ through the use of spoken narratives. Further to testing the impact of the abovementioned interventions, the study also aims to test the impact of scarcity on participation rates in a health related information session.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Horn, Samantha and Fiona Lambe. 2015. "Effects of Aspirations and Scarcity on Cookstove Purchasing." AEA RCT Registry. June 16. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.737-1.0.
Former Citation
Horn, Samantha, Samantha Horn and Fiona Lambe. 2015. "Effects of Aspirations and Scarcity on Cookstove Purchasing." AEA RCT Registry. June 16. http://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/737/history/4473.
Experimental Details
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
What is the impact of marketing information on cook stove purchasing?
What is the impact of scarcity on cook stove purchasing?
What is the impact of aspirational priming on cook stove purchasing?
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Respondents were selected to take part in the study attended sessions at the computer based testing centre at the Busara Center for Behavioural Economics in Nairobi between April and May 2015. All information was administered via com- puter screens whilst an enumerator assisted respondents through the various stages of the treatment. All respondents took part in an initial data collection phase of the study. This initial phase involved a time-preference test, which gauged the appetite of the respondent to choose smaller amounts of money at a certain date, compared to a larger amount of money at a later date. Respondents were also subject to a Raven’s Test to measure cognitive ability, a number of demographic questions, and a personality test based off the Big Five personality traits.
Data from this phase of the study was designed for two main purposes. First, it will allow detection of correlations between personal traits and energy-saving household items. By carefully measuring personality and economic preference, it will be possible to determine if people with certain traits are highly correlated with both ownership and interest in energy-saving appliances. Second, the data will assist with the analysing of heterogeneous effects of priming on purchasing decisions. This will make it possible to identify how the treatments affect people of different types. After completion of the initial phase of the study respondents allocated to treatment groups then received the treatments specific to their groups.
After the treatments were administered, respondents revealed their willingness to purchase a cook stove via a lottery opportunity. Participants in all treatment groups were read marketing information on the cook stove available in the lottery. The cookstove was also held up so that respondents could view the item. Respondents were then asked to input a price that they were willing to pay for the item and told that a random lottery would dictate whether or not they would have the opportunity to buy the item. The respondent was told that in the case that their stated willingness to pay was higher than the price they would have to purchase the item.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Respondents selected from subject group and assigned to treatments at random by computer.
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
210 individuals
Sample size: planned number of observations
210 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
70 individuals for three different treatment arms
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB Name
Maseno University
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

There are documents in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access to this information.

Request Information
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Is the intervention completed?
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
Program Files
Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials
Relevant Paper(s)