Evaluating an Export Promotion Scheme in Tunisia

Last registered on March 08, 2019

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Evaluating an Export Promotion Scheme in Tunisia
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0003347
Initial registration date
March 05, 2019
Last updated
March 08, 2019, 3:49 PM EST

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
World Bank

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Geneva and ICREA/MOVE, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics
PI Affiliation
World Bank Group
PI Affiliation
Columbia University

Additional Trial Information

Status
On going
Start date
2018-08-07
End date
2021-06-25
Secondary IDs
IE-P158446-IMPE-TF0A3399
Abstract
To promote export diversification, the Tunisian government is implementing a $22 million export matching-grant scheme, TASDIR+. TASDIR+ aims to increase exports and promote export diversification toward higher value-added exports and new markets. This study is using a randomized controlled trial to evaluate TASDIR+’s traditional matching grant scheme and a newly implemented rebate scheme. Under the traditional matching grant scheme, eligible firms receive a 50% cost subsidy for eligible export-related expenses. Under the rebate scheme, available to agriculture/agribusiness firms, eligible firms receive the 50% cost subsidy and a rebate based on the firm’s export performance in new markets.

The questions the project seeks to answer are: (i) does subsidizing a firm’s export business plan or office abroad help firms export to new markets or export new product variety? and (ii) do export rebates encourage firms to increase export volume, export new product varieties, and/or export to new (advanced) markets? While both export subsidies and matching grants are popular policy tools, to date there is very little rigorous evidence on their effectiveness, a gap this proposed impact evaluation aims to address.

Registration Citation

Citation
de Giorgi , Giacomo et al. 2019. "Evaluating an Export Promotion Scheme in Tunisia ." AEA RCT Registry. March 08. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.3347-1.0
Former Citation
de Giorgi , Giacomo et al. 2019. "Evaluating an Export Promotion Scheme in Tunisia ." AEA RCT Registry. March 08. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/3347/history/42771
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
(1) Traditional matching grant scheme: eligible firms receive a 50% cost subsidy for eligible export-related expenses (geared towards general export activity or implantation abroad).
(2) Rebate scheme: eligible firms receive the 50% cost subsidy and a rebate based on the firm’s export performance in new markets.

Firms with agribusiness/agricultural activity are eligible for the rebate scheme. The rebate is given in the form of reimbursement of eligible expenses. The total reimbursement (matching grant + rebate) cannot exceed 90% of the firm’s expenses.
For the rebate, a new market is a market to which the firm did not export an agricultural product in the calendar year prior to application.
Intervention Start Date
2018-09-28
Intervention End Date
2020-12-31

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Number of products, number of destination markets, export share of different product varieties, export share to different markets, export volume, annual sales of the firm, number of employees.

Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Number of product varieties produced by the firm, number, volume, and varieties of inputs used by the firm.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Firms can apply to the program once, in any of the four scheduled application rounds. Firms self-select into one of the two business plan options: export business plan or internationalization business plan. Eligible firms are identified through a screening process of the applications based on firm characteristics and export destinations. All eligible firms are surveyed online or in person if necessary, and follow-up surveys take place a year later. Stratification is based on three dimensions: the firm's business plan, sector, and size (as determined by mean revenue adjusted for inflation), following which the firms are randomized into treatment and control groups.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Public randomization using an excel algorithm.
Randomization Unit
Firm
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
381 firms
Sample size: planned number of observations
381 firms
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
181 firms control, 181 firms matching grant only, 21 firms matching grant and rebate.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Standard deviation of outcome "number of export destinations": 0.5 - 0.9. MDE: 0.2 standard deviations of the outcome, i.e., 10-18% increase in number of export destinations.
Supporting Documents and Materials

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IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
No
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