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Channeling Remittances toward Human Capital Accumulation in Central America
Last registered on July 22, 2013

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Channeling Remittances toward Human Capital Accumulation in Central America
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0000024
Initial registration date
Not yet registered
Last updated
July 22, 2013 11:18 AM EDT
Location(s)
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of Michigan
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Universidad Francisco Marroquín
PI Affiliation
University of Michigan
Additional Trial Information
Status
Completed
Start date
2011-08-14
End date
2013-01-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
We study the intersection of two research areas: educational subsidies and migrant remittances. We implement a randomized experiment offering Salvadoran migrants subsidies for education, which are channeled directly to a beneficiary student in El Salvador chosen by the migrant. The subsidies – in the form of matching grants – lead to increases in educational expenditures, higher private school attendance, and lower labor supply of youths in El Salvador households connected to migrant study participants. We find substantial “crowd in” of household educational investments, particularly for female students: for each $1 received by female beneficiary students, educational expenditures on that student increase by close to $5. There is no evidence of shifting of educational expenditures from other students in the household to the target student, and the subsidy has no substantial effect on remittances sent by the migrant.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Ambler, Kate, Diego Aycinena and Dean Yang. 2013. "Channeling Remittances toward Human Capital Accumulation in Central America." AEA RCT Registry. July 22. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.24-1.0.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
i. Control Group (Information Only): The control group will not receive any product offer, but will receive information on the importance of education for youth in El Salvador and suggestions on how to maximize assistance provided to students in El Salvador (e.g., channeling funds to students directly, and spreading payments for student support over the school year).

ii. Treatment 1 (EduRemesa, no match): Migrants will be offered the ability to pay for a student’s education through FEPADE. The treatment consists of a transfer of a set amount (that varies by student level) that is financed by the migrant and administered by FEPADE. The migrant will identify the student to be financed in El Salvador, and upon receipt of the funds from the migrant and required documents from the student, the student will receive a debit card to which scholarship funds will be deposited on a monthly basis. Only students at the high school or tertiary level are eligible.

iii. Treatment 2 (EduRemesa, 1:1 match): Migrants will be offered the EduRemesa product and, additionally, the project will match each dollar sent by the migrant with one project dollar.

iv. Treatment 2 (EduRemesa, 3:1 match): Migrants will be offered the EduRemesa product and, additionally, the project will match each dollar sent by the migrant with three project dollars.

Grades: In addition to the EduRemesa offer migrants in the three treatment groups were also cross randomized two groups: migrants were also be offered the ability to receive official reports detailing the beneficiary’s grades from FEPADE or not offered the grade service.
Intervention Start Date
2011-08-14
Intervention End Date
2012-11-30
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
take-up, educational expenditures, school attendance, labor force participation, remittance behaviors
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
This study intends to measure the impacts of the educational payment product on the outcomes of students in El Salvador. All outcomes come from EduRemesa administrative data or follow-up data.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Recruitment: Subjects will be recruited at two Salvadoran consulates in the DC area. Those meeting the participation criteria will be invited to participate in the baseline survey and give verbal informed consent as described on the survey form. Immediately following the baseline survey, the treatment will be described and offered to the migrant. The El Salvador baseline survey will ask the migrants to choose a student in the correct age range to be entered into a lottery to win a scholarship. Following the baseline survey, those in the treatment groups who express an interest are followed up with by project staff. For those who wish to take-up the project, they can remit funds through Viamericas (a local remittance organization) at any time for a student of their choosing. IPA will conduct an end-line survey with migrants and matching households in El Salvador. These follow-up surveys will gather information on remittances, educational expenditures, relationships, school attendance, and labor force participation.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office on a computer using Stata prior to implementation.
Randomization Unit
Day-location of recruitment for treatment/control, and individual for division into three treatment groups
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
1,000 migrant-student pairs (126 day-location cells)
Sample size: planned number of observations
1,000 migrant-student pairs
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
360 pairs in control, 210 pairs in each treatment group
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Supporting Documents and Materials

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IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA)
IRB Approval Date
2011-08-14
IRB Approval Number
463.11August-002
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers