Out-of-School Education Investments: An Experiment with Study Rooms in Delhi

Last registered on April 13, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Out-of-School Education Investments: An Experiment with Study Rooms in Delhi
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0007523
Initial registration date
April 11, 2021

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
April 13, 2021, 11:30 AM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Locations

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Primary Investigator

Affiliation
University of Zurich

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
UC Berkeley

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2021-05-01
End date
2023-02-28
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Secondary school students in low and middle-income countries invest as much time studying the school curriculum independently as their high-income counterparts. However, the physical conditions in which they do so differ vastly. According to PISA 2018, more than 40% of students from low and middle-income countries lack a desk and a quiet place to study at home. Their homes often lack proper ventilation, illumination and insulation from noise, and may consist of a single room used to sleep, cook and eat. Despite these difficult conditions, students in these settings mostly study at home. This experiment will evaluate whether subsidizing access to study rooms can help disadvantaged students improve their performance in the high-stakes All India Senior School Certificate Examination. In addition, the project will investigate the mechanisms through which the intervention may or may not be effective and the reasons for the low demand for this service.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Sarkar, Shreya and Jose Vila-Belda. 2021. "Out-of-School Education Investments: An Experiment with Study Rooms in Delhi." AEA RCT Registry. April 13. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.7523
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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
This research project will investigate whether providing access to an adequate physical environment to do self-study can improve education outcomes. We propose to examine this through a field experiment involving subsidies to access privately-run study rooms, which will be offered to 12th-grade students from disadvantaged urban neighbourhoods in Delhi who are preparing to take the All India Senior School Certificate Examination (AISSCE). This is a very high-stakes standardized exam that is critical for people seeking admission to university. In addition, we will study the mechanisms through which the intervention may or may not be effective, as well as the reasons for the low demand for this service in this population. Given that many of these households are investing in additional instruction but not in paid study rooms, we hypothesize that reasons other than financial constraints may partly explain the low demand for the latter. Based on findings from the field, possible explanations that we aim to study include lack of information about the existence of this service and lack of direct experience using a space like this, which could lead students to underestimate its potential benefits.
Intervention Start Date
2021-11-01
Intervention End Date
2022-04-30

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Test scores in the All India Senior School Certificate Examination, post-secondary enrolment outcomes, and how much time students spend studying.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Where students study (e.g. at home, in the study room, at a friend’s place) and with whom (e.g. alone, with a relative, with a friend); investments in tutoring or coaching, and willingness to pay for study rooms and willingness for amenities such as a desk or a quiet space.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The experimental design will consist of a pure control, an information-only treatment (involving information provision about what paid study rooms are, including a description of their amenities, costs and location) and an information + subsidy treatment (in addition to receiving information about the study rooms, this group will receive a full subsidy to use one of them). The randomization will be stratified by willingness to pay measures.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization in office by a computer.
Randomization Unit
Individual student level.
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
2000 students.
Sample size: planned number of observations
2000 students.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
750 students in the “Information + subsidy” group, 750 students in the “information-only” group, and 500 students in the pure control group.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
The MDE for test scores is 0.2 standard deviations, or 4.16 points on the scale of the national test, which relative to the mean represents a 6.4% increase.
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IFMR Human Subjects Committee
IRB Approval Date
2021-01-04
IRB Approval Number
IRB00007107