Teaching Through Television: Experimental Evidence on Entrepreneurship Education in Tanzania

Can television be used to teach and foster entrepreneurship among youth in developing countries? We report from a randomized control field experiment of an edutainment show on entrepreneurship broadcasted over almost three months on national television in Tanzania. The field experiment involved more than 2,000 secondary school students, where the treatment group was incentivized to watch the edutainment show. We find some suggestive evidence of the edutainment show making the viewers more interested in entrepreneurship and business, particularly among females. However, our main finding is a negative effect: the edutainment show discouraged investment in schooling without convincingly replacing it with some other valuable activity. Administrative data show a strong negative treatment effect on school performance, and long-term survey data show that fewer treated students continue schooling, but we do not find much evidence of the edutainment show causing an increase in business ownership. The fact that an edutainment show for entrepreneurship caused the students to invest less in education carries a general lesson to the field experimental literature by showing the importance of taking a broad view of possible implications of a field intervention.