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Initial registration date
February 02, 2018
October 21, 2019 8:16 AM EDT
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University of Michigan
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Sapienza University of Rome
Additional Trial Information
We test the impact of providing migrant workers with an improved ability to direct remittances to particular uses through labeling. Migrant remittances are one of the largest financial flows to developing countries. However, we are still learning how remittances can be best utilized by recipient households and what policies might increase the development impact of remittances.
A key barrier to maximizing the development potential of remittances is that migrants who are sending these funds have limited ability to monitor or control how they are used by recipients. In addition, migrants’ preferences on how remittances should be spent often differ from the recipients’ preferences. Migrants often have a stronger preference that remittances be used for purposes that may have general development benefits in the long run, such as investment (in physical or human capital) or savings. Whereas recipients often favour using these funds for immediate consumption. This combination on differing preferences and limited control on funds leads to migrants sending fewer remittances than they otherwise might.
This project seeks to address this barrier by testing the impact of a simple, scalable and low-cost mechanism that allows migrants to both signal their preferences and exert greater control over the funds they send – labeled remittances. Migrants will be given the option to “label” their remittance with its intended purpose. The label will be transmitted to the beneficiary along with the remittance amount. Simple labeling can potentially allow migrants to direct remittances to particular uses, and research suggests that it may be as effective as more direct mechanisms of control. In addition, labeling remittances may be less costly and more easily scalable than other approaches for directing remittances to specific uses. Registration Citation
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes (end points)
i. Remittances sent by migrant
ii. Expenditures in migrant's target household in origin country
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
A study sample of Filipino migrants will be enlisted through intercept-point sampling at select locations of our partner bank. For a random subset of the sample we will enlist their corresponding target households in the Philippines.
The migrant study sample will be randomly divided into treatment and control groups. Assignment to treatment will be at the individual migrant level. The treatment group will be offered a remittance labeling product that will allow migrants to send a label along with the remittance transaction to their recipient household, through which they may choose to identity the intended purpose of the funds being remitted. The control group will not be offered any remittance labeling product.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization done in office by a computer
Was the treatment clustered?
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
2000 migrants in treatment, 2000 migrants in control
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
Innovations for Poverty Action - IRB
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number