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Encouraging formal registration of micro and small enterprises in Indonesia
Last registered on November 27, 2019


Trial Information
General Information
Encouraging formal registration of micro and small enterprises in Indonesia
Initial registration date
November 26, 2019
Last updated
November 27, 2019 10:46 AM EST
Primary Investigator
Australian National University
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Australian National University
Additional Trial Information
In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
The project aims to explore ways to encourage businesses to obtain formal registration and to test behavioral insights in the context of business registration. The project tackles informality, which is a common problem in economies of developing countries. We will make use of behavioral insights to design interventions that will be evaluated by a randomized controlled field trial. The research will generate evidence on the effectiveness of a new business registration system by providing information to businesses about the availability of the system, by pointing out that the system is free of charge, by addressing patriotic and altruistic motivations, and by highlighting that the new system is easy to use. Studying the effectiveness of interventions that aim to ‘nudge’ businesses to register will improve our understanding of how registration rates can be increased.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Dong, Sarah and Mathias Sinning. 2019. "Encouraging formal registration of micro and small enterprises in Indonesia ." AEA RCT Registry. November 27. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.5007-1.0.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details
Several SMS or WhatsApp messages will be sent to micro and small businesses owners across Indonesia. We aim to study the effectiveness of four treatments. Treatment 1: Businesses are being informed that they can register online to obtain a certificate from the government. Treatment 2: Same as Treatment 1 plus pointing out that registration is free of charge. Treatment 3: Same as Treatment 1 plus stating "Let's grow the nations economy". Treatment 4: Same as Treatment 1 plus pointing out that the registration process is easy. The control group does not receive any messages during the trial period.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
A variable indicating whether or not the business has completed the registration process through the newly established online portal.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
We obtain these outcomes by matching business owners who have registered through the online portal with business owners in our sample using an ID issued by the government. The ID has to be provided as part of the registration process.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
This trial informs unregistered business owners in Indonesia about the possibility of using a newly established online portal to register their business. The online portal was created by our partner and authorized by the Indonesian government. The online registration takes about 15 minutes. Registered business owners receive an official registration certificate from the government. The aim of the trial is to test the effectiveness of sending SMS or WhatsApp messages to a large number of unregistered business owners to inform them about the online portal. We vary the messages to test several behavioral channels to encourage registration. Our main outcome measure is a variable indicating whether or not business owners use the website to register.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
We use baseline characteristics (such as age and gender of the business owner, business sector, location, etc.) collected by our partner for randomized stratification. Stratified randomization is done in Stata using the user-written command randtreat version 1.4 (5 April 2017).
Randomization Unit
Stratified randomization is done at the individual (business owner) level.
Was the treatment clustered?
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
53,999 businesses
Sample size: planned number of observations
53,999 businesses
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Control group: 10,818 businesses
Treatment group 1: 10,795 businesses
Treatment group 2: 10,794 businesses
Treatment group 3: 10,777 businesses
Treatment group 4: 10,815 businesses
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB Name
Australian National University Human Research Ethics Committee
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

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Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Is the intervention completed?
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
Program Files
Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials
Relevant Paper(s)