Primary Outcomes (end points)
Compliance Measure 1: Calls to VCCI Regulatory Hotline. During the pre-treatment survey, all firms will be provided with a credit card-shaped thumb drive (USB – see images of product and planned content below) that has VCCI’s seal on the cover. The thumb drive cover will also advertise a toll-free hotline that businesses can call if they have questions about adjustments that need to be made to be considered in compliance with all new sanitary, environment, and labor safety regulations. The VCCI has agreed to host the hotline and MOLISA has agreed to provide chemical experts who can answer any detailed questions of businesses. As an initial measure of interest in compliance, we will record whether firms called the hotline for assistance, which will provide an initial intention to treat effect.
Compliance Measure 2: Self-Reported Compliance. 45 days after the posting of the final regulation by MOLISA and acceptance by the Vietnamese National Assembly, our teams will return to visit all business to conduct a brief post-treatment survey (June 2015). During this 15-minute survey, firms will be asked about 3 specific requirements of the Draft Regulation on Handling and Storage of Hazardous Chemicals: 1) equipment, including gloves, masks, and safety showers; 2) storage, including proper containers and designated safety labels; 3) factory organization, including placement of storage facilities and ventilation. Firms will be asked to answer yes or no questions about whether their current processes in these 3 areas are in compliance with Final Regulation on Handling and Storage of Hazardous Chemicals.
Compliance Measure 3: Observed Compliance. After the post-treatment survey at the firm’s factory location, firms will be asked to show the enumerator evidence of their compliance with the final regulation in the 3 highlighted areas (equipment, storage, and factory outlay). Assessments will only be taken of firms that volunteer to show enumerator their facilities and on particularly easy requirements. A key part of our search for the appropriate regulation has been that they include such easy to observe components and–while it is not possible to specifically identify these components until the draft regulation for public commentary is complete–MOLISA chemical experts have strongly recommended the three areas highlighted above are particularly feasible. Times will differ by factories, but we estimate observing compliance should take a maximum of twenty minutes. Only if firms agree, photographs of chemical equipment, storage, and outlay will be taken and stored with the dataset. Like the dataset, these photographs will be only identified with a firm id generated by the PIs that is only available to the PIs. The connection between firm identifying information and firm id is also only available to PIs. Further, we do not plan to publish these photographs in any publication or presentation relating to this research. Express consent would need to be sought for any such actions.
Summary of Stage 3: A hotline number for complying with regulations will be provided to firms during the pre-treatment survey in September 2014 and will be live immediately. Self-reported compliance will be measured in a post-treatments survey administered to all 1800 firms that will take about 15 minutes. Direct observations of compliance will take place immediately after the post-treatment survey. Observations of compliance will be voluntary and will not take longer than 20 minutes. This is simply an assessment of enumerators and it will be made very clear that this is not a formal inspection.
It is impossible to measure whether participation improved the quality of the law and therefore stimulated compliance through experimental design. The problem is that, unless firm-level preferences are highly variegated, it is unlikely that control and treatment groups will differ dramatically in their preferences over the regulation. Consequently, if the treatment groups’ ideas significantly improve the quality and acceptability of the laws, control firms are as likely to change their behavior as treatment firms. We would observe no difference between the compliance of the different groups statistically. In short, a highly successful experiment would appear as a non-result.
Q1 (Quality of Regulation): To ensure that we capture this potential effect, we have designated a fifth group of 100 firms as “judges” of legal quality. These firms will also be randomly sampled from the population at the beginning of the experiment, and will match the other groups on all observable characteristics. Rather than being subject to an experimental manipulation, these firms will simply be given untitled and unmarked versions of the draft regulation and final regulation resulting from the controlled experiment during June 2014. Their primary task will be to identify which of these blind documents they think is the superior legislation. The selection should not take longer than 10 minutes.
Q2 (Watered Down Regulation): To ensure that high quality law does not simply mean “watered down” regulations, we are also preparing to engage in an equivalent exercise with a group of 30 labor safety experts and knowledgeable workers. This group will also be asked to assess whether the final regulation is better than the draft in terms of its protections for workers. The selection should not take longer than 10 minutes.