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Increasing the Development Impact of Migrant Remittances: A Field Experiment on Educational Finance by Migrant Workers
Last registered on December 06, 2013


Trial Information
General Information
Increasing the Development Impact of Migrant Remittances: A Field Experiment on Educational Finance by Migrant Workers
Initial registration date
Not yet registered
Last updated
December 06, 2013 11:55 AM EST
Primary Investigator
University of Michigan
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
World Bank
PI Affiliation
World Bank
PI Affiliation
University of Rome "La Sapienza"
Additional Trial Information
On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Migrant remittances are one of the largest international financial flows to developing countries. In 2008, migrant remittances sent to developing countries amounted to US$338 billion, roughly three times larger than foreign aid flows. However, very little is known about how the development impact of these funds can be maximized. The hypothesis driving this research is that remittances may have greater long-run development impact when migrants sending these remittances are given more control and monitoring over how the funds are used by recipients. Surveys of migrants consistently find that education is among the most important categories of expenditures that migrants seek to fund in the home country. This project tests the impact of providing migrant workers with a better ability to control the use of remittances for education, and to monitor the educational performance of sponsored students. We will focus on overseas Filipino workers in Rome. In collaboration with a major Philippine bank remittance channel and a respected Philippine NGO with expertise in managing privately-funded educational scholarships, the principal investigators will evaluate demand for and the impact of a new educational payment and monitoring facility.
This facility – dubbed EduPay – will provide overseas Filipinos with the ability to pay educational institutions in the Philippines directly from overseas, without channeling the funds through a relative or other “trustee”, and also provide information to the overseas migrant on the performance (attendance, grades) of the sponsored student.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Arcangelis, Giuseppe et al. 2013. "Increasing the Development Impact of Migrant Remittances: A Field Experiment on Educational Finance by Migrant Workers." AEA RCT Registry. December 06. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.151-1.0.
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Experimental Details
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Increase in Remittances for Education, Increase in Number of Students sponsored by EduPay
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Immediate outcomes include number of individuals whose education is being sponsored by the migrant and the migrant’s relationship with these individuals, changes in remittance-sending by the migrant (to establish whether existing resource flows are to some extent “cannibalized” by the new educational financing), and changes in household expenditures and investments (to see whether amounts saved when migrants are paying for school fees are simply redeployed to other uses, or whether total expenditures and investments in the household rise). In addition, it is important to examine changes in school attendance and performance of school-age individuals in the origin household. If migrants take up the new facilities but there is no effect on number of students sponsored or on schooling in the origin household, then this would suggest that the new facilities are simply more convenient ways to undertake payments and monitoring, and don’t help solve control problems. Evidence more consistent with the facilities solving control and monitoring problems would be that migrants sponsor more students and/or that schooling and performance rise in the origin household
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
A sample of Filipino migrants in Rome will be randomly chosen to be offered this product during the pilot phase,. The project will then be able to study which migrants use the new product when offered it. The survey instrument is administered to respondents that are randomly intercepted at times and dates that vary by location. For a better coverage of the population of interest the survey is going to be achieved at multiple location. During the first pilot phase several locations are scouted to ensure the presence of the Filipinos migrants. A list of the popular places that is “the aggregation points”, where migrants tend to meet is made. We choose 5 fix points and several events during the months when the baseline is occurring. Primary sampling units are as combinations of locations and time segments where surveying will take place at the location. Interviewers are assigned to each location during specified time spans who will conduct the interviews, will carefully record also the refusal rates along with gender and coded province where the migrant comes from.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
In all a sample of 501 respondent will be drawn during the August-December baseline 2012. Migrants will also randomly be assigned by a public lottery to one of the three treatment groups “lab-in-the-field” games that will vary in whether the household in the Philippines knows or does not know about their allocation decisions in the incentivized budget allocation choice section.
Randomization Unit
These treatments will be randomized at the individual respondent level
Was the treatment clustered?
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
167 individuals in each treatment
Sample size: planned number of observations
501 total individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
167 individuals
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB Name
Health Sciences and Behavioral Sciences Institutional Review Board; University of Michigan
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Is the intervention completed?
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
Program Files
Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials
Relevant Paper(s)