Incentivising School Attendance in Bangladesh: A Loss Aversion Conditional Cash Transfer Design

Principal Investigator

  • Dr. Abu S Shonchoy
  • Dr. Tomoki Fujii
  • Dr. Christine Ho


Project Area

District: Gibandha

Project Description

Conditional cash transfer (CCT) has emerged as an effective way to encourage households to send children to school. The idea behind the CCT is simple. Households receive some cash transfers conditional on the attendance of their children in school, giving households an incentive to send children to school. From the policy perspective, it would be ideal if the CCT program has a maximum impact on the attendance of children. This study aims to take advantage of the widely observed psychological trait of human being, where people tend to more strongly avert losses than the reduction of the same amount of gains. We expect that the CCT may potentially have a larger impact when combined with loss-aversion design.

The project is implementing in a partner association with Singapore Management University (SMU).

Targeting the 400 grade 6 & 7 student participants (50% male and 50% female) from 3 secular secondary schools in Gaibandha district in Northern Bangladesh, Dr. Abu S Shonchoy from Florida International University, Dr.Tomoki Fujii from Singapore Management University (SMU) and Dr. Christine Ho from Singapore Management University (SMU) initiated to measure impact of Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) combined with loss-aversion design on school attendance based on Randomized Control Trial (RCT) design.

Student participants along with their parents will be administered with baseline from early February, 2017 and end line from May, 2017 concurrently.

Participants who are already being administered with baseline will be randomized into four treatment arms based on students gender, loss aversion parameter (low/med/high) computed from the loss aversion experiment conducted with the baseline survey and distance between school and residence.

The project is assumed to be phased out in June, 2017 with end-line survey.