Is patience malleable via educational intervention? Evidence from field experiments

Last registered on August 25, 2022


Trial Information

General Information

Is patience malleable via educational intervention? Evidence from field experiments
Initial registration date
August 23, 2022

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
August 25, 2022, 3:03 PM EDT

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



Primary Investigator

University of Koblenz-Landau

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Tuebingen
PI Affiliation
DIW Berlin, HU Berlin, and IfW Kiel

Additional Trial Information

Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial is based on or builds upon one or more prior RCTs.
We study the malleability of patience via educational interventions by aggregating evidence of earlier experiments in a meta-analysis and by conducting a field experiment. We find that the average effect of interventions on patience may be positive but uncertain. The age of students explains a large share of between-study heterogeneity in treatment effects. Thus, we conduct a field experiment covering both youths and adults in Uganda. We find heterogenous effects by age: adults’ patience measured in incentivized tasks is unaffected by the intervention after 15 months follow-up, but we observe large effects on patience and estimated discount factors for youth.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Kaiser, Tim, Lukas Menkhoff and Luis Oberrauch. 2022. "Is patience malleable via educational intervention? Evidence from field experiments ." AEA RCT Registry. August 25.
Experimental Details


Financial education programme described in AEARCTR-0006407.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Impatient choices, discount factors
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Our main measures of patience are based on (i) the proportion of the respective budget allocated to the respective sooner payment date and (ii) a binary indicator whether a respondent chose to allocate the entire respective budget to the earliest possible payment date (i.e., the impatient corner choice at the sooner date). In addition to analyzing the choices in the experimental task, we estimate a structural model allowing joint estimation of utility parameters (beta and delta).

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Cluster-RCT with 108 villages in western Uganda. After baseline survey, we randomly assign half of the clusters to a financial education program developed jointly by the central bank of Uganda, Bank of Uganda (BoU), and the German Development Cooperation (GIZ). We elicit time preferences at endline using a Convex Time Budgeting Task (CTB) (Andreoni and Sprenger, 2012). Because the task is implemented in a phone-survey, we use a simplified version for the CTB developed by Carvalho et al. (2016) for a developing country setting. Specifically, we ask respondents to choose among three allocation options (two corner options and one interior option). One of the four budgets is randomly selected for payout. We employ several measures to equalize any possible direct or indirect costs of receiving the payments. First, payments are scheduled for payout via Mobile Money to eliminate any inconvenience arising from physical transactions, i.e., transaction costs are the same across time periods. To further eliminate any residual inconvenience from allocating all payments to a single date, subjects are told they would receive an additional UGX 1,000 “thank-you payment” for participation. The “thank-you payment” is to be received in two payments (500 UGX sooner and 500 UGX later) regardless of the experimental choices and the payoffs were added to these payments
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization Unit
Cluster-RCT at the village level
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
108 villages
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
54 treatment villages and 54 control villages
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

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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