Jesper Stage and Tharshini Thangavelu replicate the results of a randomized evaluation carried out by Lasse Brune and colleagues in 2016 in Malawi. The original study evaluated an experiment where tobacco farmers in Malawi were assisted in setting up savings accounts for part of their harvest revenue, which would be used to purchase inputs ahead of the next planting season. Most farmers did not actually make use of this offer. However, on average, those farmers who were offered help with setting up savings accounts tended to spend more on inputs in the next planting season, leading to higher incomes.
The replication authors conducted push-button and pure replications that replicated the original results, with only very minor discrepancies. They further examined the robustness of the results by conducting estimation analyses, with results that were also largely similar to those reported in the original study. In their theory of change analysis, the replication researchers focused on those farmers who actually accepted help in setting up bank accounts and then used them. These farmers subsequently had considerably higher input spending and higher incomes than their counterparts (i.e. those farmers who were not offered help with setting up accounts). Overall, the savings intervention appears to have been successful in improving livelihoods among the targeted farmers, and the results from the replication study support those from the original study.
The authors of this paper replicated a landmark study by Hayes and colleagues (2019) on the HPTN 071 (PoPART) trial, which examined if a universal test and treatment program, along with a combination prevention intervention, could reduce HIV incidence in Zambia and South Africa.
Eric Djimeu and Eleanor G Dickens conduct a replication of the HPTN 052 study by Cohen and colleagues that evaluates the impact of early initiation of antiretroviral therapy on rates of sexual transmission of HIV-1.
The National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and Social Security Pension are two of the largest employment programmes in Andhra Pradesh. Muralidharan and colleagues (2016) investigated the impacts of biometrically-authenticated payment infrastructure (Smartcards) on beneficiaries of the two employment programmes.
This replication study starts with the twin strategies of push-button and pure replications of the original study. It then followed this up with various consistency and
robustness checks, such as propensity score matching and the Tobit model specification.