Using reminder messages to increase recycling behaviour in Peru

Last registered on May 18, 2022

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Using reminder messages to increase recycling behaviour in Peru
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0007780
Initial registration date
June 12, 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
June 14, 2021, 11:37 AM EDT

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

Last updated
May 18, 2022, 2:55 AM EDT

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.

Locations

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Primary Investigator

Affiliation
German Development Institute; University of East Anglia

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of East Anglia
PI Affiliation
University of East Anglia
PI Affiliation
Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods
PI Affiliation
University of California, Santa Cruz

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2021-06-14
End date
2022-08-31
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
The municipality of Miraflores in Lima, Peru, has established a recycling programme, in which households can participate voluntarily and free of charge. Although households sign up to the programme voluntarily, few recycle regularly, pointing towards a gap between people’s intention to recycle and their actual recycling behaviour. Reminders can help people to follow through with their intentions by addressing the problem of limited attention. In this study, we conduct a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to test whether sms reminders can increase recycling behaviour of households. In particular, we will contrast the effect of continuous vs. interrupted vs. restarted reminders on households’ recycling behaviour. We will measure recycling behaviour of households over 12 weeks in total. While the first three weeks will serve as a baseline measure, the subsequent nine weeks will be our intervention period where households will be randomly assigned to either i) a control group that does not receive any reminders, ii) a group that receives continuous reminders over the whole nine weeks (continuous treatment), iii) a group that receives reminders only for the first three weeks (interrupted treatment), iv) or a group that receives reminders for the first three weeks and for the last three weeks, with a three weeks’ pause in between (restarted treatment). Our design will allow us to analyse the effects of continuous reminders on households’ recycling behaviour, persistence of reminder effects after the intervention has ended, as well as restart effects when the intervention is taken up again. We will further observe whether our intervention has positive spillover effects on the recycling behaviour of neighbouring households.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Fuhrmann-Riebel, Hanna et al. 2022. "Using reminder messages to increase recycling behaviour in Peru." AEA RCT Registry. May 18. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.7780
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
We conduct a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to test whether simple reminder messages can increase recycling behaviour of households. We are interested in understanding the effects of continuous vs. interrupted vs. restarted reminders on households’ recycling behaviour. In addition to analysing the recycling behaviour of our sample of households, we will measure whether our intervention has social spillover effects on neighbouring households. This means, we will observe whether neighbouring households of treated households will increase their recycling activity as well in response to increased recycling activity of the treated households.
Intervention Start Date
2021-07-05
Intervention End Date
2021-09-11

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Our primary outcomes will be the recycling behaviour of our sample of households during the intervention period. This means every week:
• Whether a household recycles on the collection day (yes/no)
• How many bags are recycled by a household per collection day (count variable)
For the analysis, we will look at the behaviour each week as well as at aggregate measures over blocks of three weeks and over the whole intervention period.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Conditional on finding the expected treatment effects, our secondary outcomes will be the social spillover effects of our intervention on neighbouring households during the intervention period. We will use the same outcome variables defined above, though applied to the neighbours.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We will measure households’ recycling behaviour over a total time period of 12 weeks, where the first three weeks will serve as a baseline measure and the subsequent nine weeks will be our intervention period.

We will randomly distribute our sample into four groups of equal size. The four groups will consist of three treatment groups and one control group, which will receive the reminders during the intervention period as follows (after a three weeks’ baseline period):
i) Control group (T0): does not receive any reminders
ii) Continuous treatment group (T1): receives continuous reminders over the whole nine weeks
iii) Interrupted treatment group (T2): receives reminders only for the first three weeks
iv) Restarted treatment group (T3): receives reminders for the first three weeks and for the last three weeks, with a three weeks’ pause in between

The reminders will be sent to households during the respective weeks in the early mornings of the collection days via sms through a Peruvian sms provider system.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
The randomization will be done in office by a computer.
Randomization Unit
The randomization will be performed at the individual household level.
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
N/A
Sample size: planned number of observations
Our total sample size will be 1392 households.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
We will randomly distribute our sample into four groups of equal size. Given that our overall sample consists of 1392 households, this means there will be 348 households per group/treatment arm (i.e. 348 in control group, 348 in continuous treatment group, 348 in interrupted treatment group, 348 in restarted treatment group).
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of East Anglia International Development Research Ethics Committee
IRB Approval Date
2020-03-03
IRB Approval Number
N/A
Analysis Plan

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