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Electrifying Education: Evidence from Solar-powered Lights, TVs and Bilingual Videos in Tanzanian Secondary Schools
Last registered on October 22, 2015

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Electrifying Education: Evidence from Solar-powered Lights, TVs and Bilingual Videos in Tanzanian Secondary Schools
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0000842
Initial registration date
October 22, 2015
Last updated
October 22, 2015 2:49 PM EDT
Location(s)
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
The University of Chicago
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
The University of Chicago
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2015-09-02
End date
2017-03-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Approximately one billion people lack electricity access today, and three billion face the need to use a nonnative language on a daily basis; we study how these two constraints affect learning in public schools. We ask: how does school electrification affect education? How does variation in digital learning content, in particular the language of instruction, affect demand for education and performance? How can we measure the value of these school resources? We pilot-test these questions via tracking the results of a unique experiment conducted with 200 middle schools in northern Tanzania--educating 40,000 students each year--that are in the process of receiving, in a randomized, staggered roll-out fashion, solar-powered lights, TVs and language-varied educational videos over the years 2015 to 2017. We value private welfare changes by examining how students trade off attendance during class hours and remedial hours against their opportunity costs of time. We are additionally interested in complementing this analysis by using natural predictors of grid placement to identify the impact of energy expansion over the past decade on school performance (as well as on other measures of economic productivity as they relate to growth).
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Greenstone, Michael and Hee Kwon Seo. 2015. "Electrifying Education: Evidence from Solar-powered Lights, TVs and Bilingual Videos in Tanzanian Secondary Schools." AEA RCT Registry. October 22. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.842-1.0.
Former Citation
Greenstone, Michael and Hee Kwon Seo. 2015. "Electrifying Education: Evidence from Solar-powered Lights, TVs and Bilingual Videos in Tanzanian Secondary Schools." AEA RCT Registry. October 22. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/842/history/5719.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
1. We install solar-powered lights, TVs and language-varied educational videos over the years 2015 to 2017.
2. We randomly give students tests in either English-only exams or bilingual exams.
Intervention Start Date
2015-09-17
Intervention End Date
2016-11-30
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
attendance, test scores, pass rates, educational motivation, sense of justice, occupational aims
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
standard measures are used
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
We randomly provide 89 schools with the interventions. 1/3 receive the solar equipment only. 1/3 receive English-only educational videos. 1/3 receive bilingual educational videos.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
1. School-randomization is done by stata. Schools are stratified at the region-level and then at 6-school previous year national examination GPA-average bands. Code is reproducible.
2. Approximately 40 students (10 form 4 boys, 10 form 4 girls, 10 form 3 boys, 10 form 3 girls) are sampled from each school. Suppose the number of students in a form-gender cohort is X. Then compute A, where A is given by the floor of X / 10. Take the last digit of the survey date, D. Take Dth student and then take every Ath student from that point on. (If D = 0, then take the first student on the roster.)
3. Every other student from the sampled list is given the English-only exam.
Randomization Unit
Randomization for the energy / video intervention is done at the school level. Randomization for the language test intervention is done at the individual level.
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
200 schools.
Sample size: planned number of observations
8000 students
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
The schools are divided into six equal-sized groups. First group receives a solar system in 09/2015. The second receives the solar system and English learning materials in 09/2015. The third receives the solar system and bilingual learning materials in 09/2015. The fourth receives English learning materials only in 09/2015, but receives the solar system at the end of 2016 (after endline). The fifth receives bilingual learning materials in 2015, and receives the solar system at the end of 2016. The last group is to receive only the solar system at the end of 2016.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Please see "150921 preliminary report.docx," last page, for power calculations.
Supporting Documents and Materials

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IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
The University of Chicago Social & Behavioral Sciences Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
2015-08-07
IRB Approval Number
IRB15-1017
IRB Name
Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology
IRB Approval Date
2015-09-17
IRB Approval Number
No.2015-153-NA-2015-211
IRB Name
National Institute for Medical Research
IRB Approval Date
2015-10-07
IRB Approval Number
NIMR/HQ/R.8a/Vol. IX/2019
Analysis Plan

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Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers