Targeting clean fuels: Pricing strategies and the distribution of benefits in Ghana

Last registered on November 03, 2021


Trial Information

General Information

Targeting clean fuels: Pricing strategies and the distribution of benefits in Ghana
Initial registration date
October 30, 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
November 03, 2021, 10:48 AM EDT

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



Primary Investigator

Columbia Mailman School of Public Health

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of California, Santa Barbara
PI Affiliation
Columbia Mailman School of Public Health
PI Affiliation
University of Southern California
PI Affiliation
Kintampo Health Research Centre
PI Affiliation
University of California, Santa Barbara

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Globally, nearly 3 billion people cook with traditional stoves and fuels. Household air pollution represents the largest energy-
related health risk, leading to nearly 2.3 million preventable pollution-related
deaths per year. Previous efforts to drive clean fuel transitions by targeting subsidies to the
poor have largely been unsuccessful. This project tests a novel and scalable
approach that utilizes insights from second degree price discrimination and
ordeal mechanisms to balance the cost of subsidization with the social benefits
of clean fuel use. Using a randomized controlled trial (RCT), the project will
evaluate the impact of targeting on overall LPG use and its cost effectiveness,
compared to untargeted subsidies. We will also measure how the use of clean fuel translates into overall and gender-specific reductions in personal exposure to air pollution. The results of this study will inform the Government of Ghana’s
household energy policy, which focuses on improving the country’s LPG
distribution system.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Asante, Kwaku Poku et al. 2021. "Targeting clean fuels: Pricing strategies and the distribution of benefits in Ghana." AEA RCT Registry. November 03.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details


Households will choose between liquid petroleum gas cylinders of different sizes (and standard LPG stoves), which will be paid for on deposit. Over the course of the study, households will be able to exchange their empty cylinder for a full one, at a subsidy level that will vary by treatment and cylinder size.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Take up of the LPG cylinder and stove
Number of exchanges of the LPG cylinder
Air pollution exposure
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Pollution exposure will be measured in a sub-sample using wearable exposure monitoring devices, deployed simultaneously for both the male and female household heads.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
How the primary outcomes of take up and LPG use (cylinder exchanges) vary with income.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
During an initial design stage, households will choose cylinder sizes in a multiple price list that has them choose between a small cylinder, a large cylinder or no cylinder, where the subsidy on the per kilogram price of exchanging an empty cylinder for a full one vary across sizes and within the list.

During a second validation stage, a screening menu with two cylinder sizes offered at different subsidy levels, based on data from the design stage, will be compared to a flat price (subsidy) that does not vary with cylinder size. A control group will not be offered any subsidy on the cylinder exchange price but will be able to acquire a cylinder on deposit.

Empty cylinders and stoves will be offered on deposit for a fee that does not vary by treatment. Participants will exchange empty cylinders at an LPG exchange depot established for study purposes in collaboration with an LPG supply company.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization will be completed by a computer.
Randomization Unit
Randomization will take place at the household level.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
The study design does not include clusters - it will include approximately 1250 households.
Sample size: planned number of observations
1250 households
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
In the design phase, all households will participate in the MPL. In the validation phase, sample sizes will be allocated to maximize power, based on results from the design phase.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Columbia University Irving Medical Center Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials