COVID-19 Cash Transfers for Venezuelan Migrants in Peru

Last registered on May 06, 2020


Trial Information

General Information

COVID-19 Cash Transfers for Venezuelan Migrants in Peru
Initial registration date
May 06, 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
May 06, 2020, 4:37 PM EDT

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



Primary Investigator

Universidad del Pacífico

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Universidad del Pacífico

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
The humanitarian crisis in Venezuela has spurred large out-migration to neighbouring countries since 2015. In Peru, the estimated number of Venezuelan citizens within the territory exceeds 900,000 people, equivalent to around 3 percent of the total population. The Peruvian government has taken several measures to mitigate the negative impact of the lockdown on the most vulnerable, such as direct cash transfers and the distribution of food baskets, but none include the Venezuelan migrant population. Living in extreme situations of vulnerability, the COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders pose a serious threat to their livelihoods.

We will conduct a small-scale randomized evaluation (RCT), testing the effect of a direct cash transfer to a group of Venezuelan migrants residing in Peru during lockdown. The transfer will be proportional to that distributed by the national government to the Peruvian population during quarantine. We will later conduct high frequency surveys to understand the impact of the transfer on migrant consumption, well-being, intra-household dynamics, and adherence to social-distancing measures. This will allow us to understand the effect of including migrant population into national public policies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our study will use a sample of 143 migrant households living in Peru during the COVID-19 pandemic. The sample already participates in an ongoing tracking study and was initially recruited and surveyed in August 2019 at Peru’s northern border with Ecuador. A second in-person tracking survey was conducted in February/March 2020. A third COVID-19 phone interview was administered April 2020. Following the third wave, we plan on providing a direct cash transfer to a randomly selected treatment group. Three subsequent waves phone surveys are planned following the cash transfer intervention. Outcome variables will include: a) well-being, b) consumption, c) intra-household dynamics, and d) compliance with government imposed social-distancing measures.

We expect to find that, on average, the individuals that receive the treatment will increase their consumption and food intake, demonstrate increased well-being, enjoy better intra-household dynamics, and comply more strictly with the social-distancing measures. We are also interested in exploring heterogeneous treatment effects across different types of individuals, namely beneficiaries with regular vs. irregular migratory status.

For analysis, we intend to use parametric statistics (ANCOVA) and test for robustness using non-parametric statistics (randomization inference).
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Bird, Matthew and Luisa Feline Freier . 2020. "COVID-19 Cash Transfers for Venezuelan Migrants in Peru." AEA RCT Registry. May 06.
Experimental Details


A cash transference to Venezuelan migrants in Peru.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
- Increase in consumption
- Decrease in Depression and Anxiety measures
- Less intra-household conflict
- Increased compliance with social-distancing measures
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
A total of 170 observations exist from the prior tracking study ,which began in August 2019. However, there are cases in which we have more than one person per household or we have households that know each other. In 8 instances, households stated that they had contact with one another, which led to the creation of four dyadic network clusters with two households each. In this situation, we used two criteria for inclusion in the randomized evaluation: first, following the Peruvian government’s selection logic, we prioritised transfers to women; second, we selected the person with the lowest absolute number on their national identity cards. Two out of the four clusters had one man and one woman, so we selected the female observation. In the other two dyads there were two women and two men, respectively. In these cases, we selected the person with the lowest absolute number on their national identity cards. If the non-selected household’s dyad partner falls into treatment after the randomization, both households in the dyad will be given the transfer, though we do not plan to use the non-selected household as part of the analysis, thus maintaining a simple or non-clustered randomization design.
Furthermore, there are 21 households in which we have we have more than one observation per household. In 20 households, there is one additional individual (two observations per household) and in one household there are three additional people surveyed (four individuals per household). Like the non-selected network household, these 23 observations will continue to be tracked as part of the previous tracking study but will not be included in the analysis. However, we will continue to follow the five non-selected network households and 23 additional household observations as part of the pre-existing tracking study.
Given the aforementioned elements, the randomized study will include a total of sample of 143 households, which will be block randomized based on an expenses dummy which divided the sample in two (high vs. low per capita household expenses). The expenses dummy is constructed using data from the first wave of tracking data administered earlier in the quarantine. Balance checks will be made based on baseline covariates.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done by a computer (STATA).
Randomization Unit
We randomized at the individual level.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
No clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
143 individual observations from 143 unique households in Peru (Lima, Tacna, Trujillo, Arequipa and Cusco).
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
71 individuals/households will receive the cash transfer (treatment) of 380 Peruvian Nuevos Soles. 72 individuals will receive no treatment at all (control).
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Comité de Ética de la Universidad del Pacífico
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials