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Virtual Migration: Evaluating Online Labor Markets in Indonesia
Initial registration date
September 21, 2017
September 21, 2017 1:08 PM EDT
Boston University, Department of Economics
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Harvard Business School
Columbia Business School
Additional Trial Information
Recent technological developments enable online job platforms to match workers to employers not only across oceans but also across traffic-riddled cities. In Indonesia today, more than one million workers in both urban and rural areas are engaged in online labor markets across a range of domestic and international platforms. This pilot study to investigate whether online jobs can substitute for geographic mobility by allowing individuals to compete and work in virtual job markets.
We plan to offer two different treatments aimed at understanding barriers to accessing online labor markets in 10 villages in Central Java. The randomization across the two treatment arms will take place at the village level.
In treatment arm 1 (T1), 60 individuals in 3 villages will receive a training providing basic information on the availability of online jobs and where to find them. In T2, 80 individuals in 4 villages will be given training and assistance in registering on select online job platforms, as well as a guaranteed initial job, and the final 60 individuals in 3 villages will be a pure control group.
The difference between T1 and T2 outcomes will help us to assess the importance of demand-side constraints and/or skill gaps among the study population.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Employment opportunity, skills upgrading, and salary/income
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
The pilot study will be conducted in 10 randomly selected villages in Central Java, Indonesia with the following criteria: have a migration opportunity, internet and communication access, and well-educated demography. Out of the 10 villages, 3 will act as control, whereas 3 villages will receive training and another 4 will receive training and guaranteed job. Within the treatment villages, people who have access to the internet, have minimum a lower secondary education, able to use computer, and between the age of 18 to 40 years old are randomly chosen to receive treatment.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization done by a computer using STATA
Village level randomization to determine the village and then individual level randomization to determine the respondents in the village
Was the treatment clustered?
Sample size: planned number of clusters
10 villages, with 20 respondents in each village
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
- 60 individuals within 3 villages receive training
- 80 individuals within 4 villages receive training and guaranteed job
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
Boston University Charles River Campus Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number