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Hidden Income and the Perceived Returns to Migration
Last registered on February 24, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Hidden Income and the Perceived Returns to Migration
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0003101
Initial registration date
October 09, 2018
Last updated
February 24, 2020 5:18 PM EST
Location(s)
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of Rochester
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Status
Completed
Start date
2016-05-25
End date
2019-09-30
Secondary IDs
Stanford IRB Protocol ID: 37631
Abstract
Urban workers in Kenya earn twice as much as rural workers with the same level of education. Why don't more rural workers migrate to cities? I use two field experiments to show that low migration is partly due to underestimation of urban incomes, and that this inaccurate information can be sustained by migrants' strategic motives to hide income to minimize remittance obligations. Parents underestimate their migrant children's incomes by nearly half, and underestimation is greater when a migrant's incentive to hide income is higher. Providing information about urban earnings increases migration to the capital city by 33% over two years.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Baseler, Travis. 2020. "Hidden Income and the Perceived Returns to Migration." AEA RCT Registry. February 24. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.3101-1.1.
Former Citation
Baseler, Travis. 2020. "Hidden Income and the Perceived Returns to Migration." AEA RCT Registry. February 24. http://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/3101/history/63281.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
This study includes two interventions.

Intervention 1 (Urban Labor Market Information): Randomized at the household level. Each treated household is given information sheets with labor market statistics for Nairobi, Kisumu, and Eldoret.

Intervention 2 (Migrant Remittances Information): Randomized at the household level. Treated households told the average share of income remitted by Nairobi migrants to origin (village) households.
Intervention Start Date
2017-01-17
Intervention End Date
2018-04-20
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Intervention 1: Beliefs about the returns to migration, probability of migrating within the year following the intervention, employment, income, self-reported welfare.

Intervention 2: Beliefs about average earnings in Nairobi (unconditional and for migrants), beliefs about the returns to migration, likelihood of migrating within the next year.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
I have two measures of migration after the intervention for each of the following destination types: any destination, Nairobi, Kisumu, Eldoret, other urban destination, and other rural destination. The two measures are 1.) whether the household sent at least one migrant to that destination after the intervention, and 2.) the number of migrants the household sent to that destination after the intervention. Income will be measured as the sum of individual wage and enterprise income across family members (as defined by the household roster collected at baseline) plus estimated agricultural output (farm-gate value estimated by the household head).
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Intervention 1: Remittances, savings, spending on food, investment, whether the household experienced a financial emergency in the past 3 months, whether the household is worried about their finances, and whether the household could cope with a financial shock of 2000 KES.

Intervention 2: Expected share of remittances for the marginal migrant from that household.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Households selected systematically from villages in Bungoma & Kakamega Counties.
Experimental Design Details
Intervention 1 was conducted with 497 households across 15 Western Kenyan villages. Villages were selected by local survey staff according to three criteria: they were no more than two hours away from Bungoma Town by car, they were large enough to find 30 households for survey while leaving enough space in between respondents, and they were not demographically atypical for Bungoma County. Within each village, enumerators were told to sample households systematically: each enumerator, starting from a different position on the main road, would sample the first, fourth, seventh, and tenth household in a straight line from the road. Households were screened to ensure that at least one member aged 18-35 was living there at the time of survey. Intervention 2 was conducted on the same set of households, excluding households that had migrants in Nairobi at the time of intervention #2 or at the time of the July 2018 midline surveys.
Randomization Method
Treatment status was assigned by a random number generator.
Randomization Unit
Household.
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Intervention 1: 497 households. Intervention 2: 340 households.
Sample size: planned number of observations
Intervention 1: 497 households. Intervention 2: 340 households.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Intervention 1: 249 control households, 248 treatment households. Intervention 2: 167 control households, 173 treatment households.
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
Stanford Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
2016-05-25
IRB Approval Number
37631
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, Papers & Other Materials
Relevant Paper(s)
REPORTS & OTHER MATERIALS