Can Redistribution Change Policy Views? Aid and Attitudes Toward Refugees in Uganda

Last registered on June 28, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

Can Redistribution Change Policy Views? Aid and Attitudes Toward Refugees in Uganda
Initial registration date
January 03, 2020

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
January 08, 2020, 2:18 PM EST

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Last updated
June 28, 2023, 10:29 AM EDT

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.



Primary Investigator

University of Rochester

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Center for Global Development
PI Affiliation
Harvard University
PI Affiliation
University of Oxford
PI Affiliation
Young African Refugees for Integral Development

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Many public policies create (perceived) winners and losers, but there is little evidence on whether redistribution can support new political economy equilibria that raise aggregate welfare. We study a Ugandan policy that redistributes 30% of foreign aid for refugees to Ugandans while allowing refugees to work and move freely. We randomly distribute cash grants labeled as aid shared from the refugee response and find that they substantially increase support for policies facilitating refugees' integration. Sharing information about public goods funded by the refugee response has smaller, though still significant, effects. Impacts persist for at least two years and appear to work through changing beliefs about the economic effects of refugees. We find minimal impacts of intergroup contact, implemented as business mentorship by an experienced refugee. Overall, our results suggest that economic interventions can shape policy views when the connection between the policy and the compensation is salient.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Baseler, Travis et al. 2023. "Can Redistribution Change Policy Views? Aid and Attitudes Toward Refugees in Uganda." AEA RCT Registry. June 28.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details


Grant only: Receive a grant of about $140, at least half of which must be used for an in-kind purchase.

Information only: A staff member at YARID conveys information about the existing aid-sharing policy in Uganda, the activities of the NGO, and experiences of refugees in Uganda.

Labeled Grant: Combination of the above two interventions. The grant is branded as directly associated with our refugee-led NGO partner YARID.

Refugee mentor: Assigned to mentorship by an experienced refugee business owner in the same sector. Mentorship meetings will be facilitated and coordinated by a YARID staff member who will also serve as translator if necessary. topics of conversation included skills and training that the mentee wanted, customer service and retention strategies, finance and management. A facilitator will be provided for 6 meetings (though attrition is expected) and then we will encourage them to keep meeting on their own if they desire.

Ugandan mentor: Same as above, but the mentor is a Ugandan business owner.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Support for refugee integration policies, business profits
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
See pre-analysis plan.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Economic beliefs about refugees, cultural attitudes toward refugees. See pre-analysis plan for additional details and outcomes.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
See pre-analysis plan.

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
There are two broad groups of interventions for inexperienced Ugandan micro-entrepreneurs. We have one 2x2 design with four arms: cash, information, cash plus information, and a control. The second group of interventions is a mentorship program in which inexperienced Ugandan business owners are randomly assigned an experienced Ugandan or refugee business owner who serves as a mentor.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Done in office using random number generator in STATA.
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
1406 entrepreneurs.
Sample size: planned number of observations
1406 entrepreneurs.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
265 control, 237 grant, 287 info, 280 labeled grant, 169 refugee mentor, and 168 Ugandan mentor.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
All MDEs are listed as change divided by standard deviation. Total household income: - Grant or grant+info vs. control or info: 0.11. - Refugee mentor vs. control or info: 0.14. - Ugandan mentor vs. control or info: 0.13. - Refugee mentor vs. Ugandan mentor: 0.16. Attitudes toward refugees and support for refugee hosting policies: Grant vs. control: 0.12 Grant + info vs. control: 0.12 Info vs. control: 0.12 Grant + info vs. grant: 0.13 Grant + info vs. info: 0.12 Refugee mentor vs. Ugandan mentor: 0.13 Refugee mentor vs. control: 0.13

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Harvard University-Area Committee on the Use of Human Subjects
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
IRB Name
University of Rochester Research Subjects Review Board
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
IRB Name
Uganda National Council for Science and Technology
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
SS 5014
IRB Name
Mildmay Uganda Research Ethics Committee
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
IRB Name
Stanford University Research Compliance Office
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

Analysis Plan Documents


MD5: f892b7b95df5d4f2be1794a736cca9b8

SHA1: d884bb50b59a1a34955eb6af93ee0c7b382879cd

Uploaded At: October 30, 2020


MD5: 90bc41331df56c292c3546d66a8973cd

SHA1: 171d263959ef256628ebd1ecb2f649554141138c

Uploaded At: October 20, 2020


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Intervention Completion Date
May 31, 2021, 12:00 +00:00
Data Collection Complete
Data Collection Completion Date
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
1406 entrepreneurs.
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
1406 entrepreneurs.
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
265 control, 237 grant, 287 info, 280 labeled grant, 169 refugee mentor, and 168 Ugandan mentor.
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials