Primary Outcomes (end points)
Outcomes I: Expenditures
During the course of the experiment, PBK accepted the vouchers distributed during the experiment and redeemed the value of the vouchers for any item (or the set of restricted items), according to the instructions on each voucher. Vouchers were labeled with ID numbers reflecting the individual’s unique identifier, the treatment group, and the date of issuance in a manner that was not transparent to subjects.
Every time a subject paid for his/her purchases with vouchers, PBK Nonic Supermarket staff stapled the receipt to the voucher. Next, a Busara research assistant with experience conducting randomized field experiments and familiarity with the local culture reviewed the vouchers and attached receipts for errors. The research assistant then collected all vouchers at the end of the day and returned them to the Busara office.
Participants could redeem their vouchers anytime from the start of the experiment until a week after the experiment concluded. This timeline gave participants up to three full weeks to redeem their vouchers. Through this partnership with PBK Nonic Supermarket, we were able to track the proportion of the vouchers spent on essential versus non-essential goods, along with the voucher type (Self or Family, conditional or unconditional), amount spent, date redeemed, and other information associated with the subject. This data served as basis for the analysis on consumption.
Outcomes II: Baseline, Daily, and Endline Surveys
Three survey types were administered during the study. First, on the initial day of the study, participants completed a Baseline survey. The Baseline survey asked questions related to people's current emotions (using a PANAS scale), weekly spending habits, employment, household characteristics, familiarity with the PBK Nonic Supermarket, and decision-making power within the household.
Second, every day of the study after the initial day, participants completed a Daily survey that asked the same “current emotions” questions from the Baseline survey, but did not include the additional questions in the Baseline survey.
Third, at the end of the study participants completed an Endline survey, which asked a series of questions on self-esteem, general happiness, and optimism. The Endline survey was designed to measure overall life satisfaction and wellbeing, rather than incidental happiness, enabling us to distinguish between “fleeting” effects of the treatments on wellbeing as opposed to longer run effects on disposition. The Endline survey also asked about family dynamics, income levels, how subjects approached spending the vouchers, and how they felt about their consumption decisions.
Outcomes III: Effort and Worker Productivity
Two measures of effort and productivity were collected. First, for all treatment groups, attendance and timeliness was tracked by on-site field officers. Second, for the Work treatment only, the productivity of each worker was measured by: 1) weighing of the amount of lentils and rice sorted in the work period; 2) keeping track of the precise time spent sorting for each subject; and 3) computing grams sorted per minute as a proxy for productivity/efficiency.