Can television be used to teach and foster entrepreneurship among youth in developing countries? The results of randomized control field experiment of an edutainment show on entrepreneurship broadcasted over almost three months on national television in Tanzania arepresented. The field experiment involved more than 2,000 secondary school students, where the treatment group was incentivized to watch the edutainment show. Some suggestive evidence was found of the edutainment show making the viewers more interested in entrepreneurship and business, particularly among females. However, the 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 not much evidence was found 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.
Business ambitions, knowledge, mindset, and long-term behavior.
Right after the show, viewers expressed higher interest in entrepreneurship, were more likely to prefer starting their own business over other career options (particularly men) and more likely to choose entrepreneurship training over training on other topics. Although only women were more willing to pay for additional business training.Right after the end of the show, viewers' did not possess higher business knowledge nor were they more willing to take risks, compete or be more patient, which are psychological traits usually associated with an entrepreneurial mindset. Only girls' willingness to take risks was slightly affected. Eight months after the show (coinciding with the end of the school year), students exposed to the edutainment show were less likely to attend school and had worse educational outcomes. Especially among those that before the programme had higher self-employment ambitions. Two years later, students exposed to the show were less likely to be studying, with school dropout not being replaced by a significant increase in business ownership or employment.