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Empowering Indonesian Migrant Workers to Access Quality Overseas Placement Services
Last registered on March 03, 2015

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Empowering Indonesian Migrant Workers to Access Quality Overseas Placement Services
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0000630
Initial registration date
March 03, 2015
Last updated
March 03, 2015 6:59 PM EST
Location(s)
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Monash University
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Dartmouth College
PI Affiliation
Survey Meter
PI Affiliation
Boston University
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2015-04-01
End date
2018-11-30
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Nearly 700,000 Indonesians migrate abroad for work each year. The vast majority do so through recruiters and placement agencies that facilitate temporary employment in countries across Asia and the Middle East. These agencies support migrants starting with pre-departure paperwork and training through repatriation, and are therefore a crucial determinant of a worker’s migration experience. Potential migrants ostensibly have a great deal of choice between agencies – there are over 400 formally registered firms in Indonesia – and in theory, competition between these firms should drive out poorly performing agencies. Yet existing evidence suggests that agency quality is highly variable, and that many agencies engage in exploitative practices. This could be due to market power at the local level, or informational failures, both of which would hamper competitive pressures. This study will evaluate how making additional information on firm quality available to migrants workers impacts workers' migration choices, migrant worker welfare, and the structure of the migration market at the local level. The experiment will also evaluate whether simply helping migrants understand the importance of choosing a high-quality placement firm can stimulate informal information-sharing through village-level social networks.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Bazzi, Samuel et al. 2015. "Empowering Indonesian Migrant Workers to Access Quality Overseas Placement Services ." AEA RCT Registry. March 03. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.630-2.0.
Former Citation
Bazzi, Samuel et al. 2015. "Empowering Indonesian Migrant Workers to Access Quality Overseas Placement Services ." AEA RCT Registry. March 03. http://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/630/history/3714.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
This project has three experimental arms, which feature different combinations of two information sharing products designed specifically for migrant workers.

The first product is a paper-based placement agency “report card”. The report card will rank the most-frequently used placement agencies in the area and will include the name of the placement agency, the number of reviews from migrants, and an overall score, with an associated smiley face graphic to indicate overall quality. The report cards will also include contact information for the placement agencies.

The second product will take the form of a short comic book. The goal of the comic book is to help communicate in an accessible manner the fact that placement agency quality, and not just fate, matters in affecting migration outcomes. (Pilot research indicated that many migrants did not believe agency quality was important for their overall migration outcome. Thus, one reason migrants may not attend to available information about agency quality is that they do not think it is important). The comic will explain why agency quality matters through the story of a fictional migrant worker – here, the emphasis will be on relatable characters and simple, clear language.

Both of these products will be disseminated to potential migrant workers through village-level discussion sessions.

The experimental arms include (a) report card only, (b) comic book only, (c) report card and comic book.
Intervention Start Date
2015-08-03
Intervention End Date
2015-10-31
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
The aim of this experiment is to measure how the information-sharing service impacts both the migration market and migrant welfare. In addition to understanding overall average impacts, it is also important to understand which migrants benefit the most: thus we will also explore the distributional impacts of the information-sharing intervention. Below we list the outcome variables and indices which we will consider by group. Outcomes marked by an asterisk (*) will be measured using administrative data from the Indonesian Migrant Placement and Protection Body (BNP2TKI).

1. Migration Market:
(a) migration rate*
(b) market share of placement agencies*
(d) use of middlemen
(e) costs paid by migrant workers to agencies and middlemen
(f) migrants beliefs about agency quality

2. Migrant Welfare:
(a) migrant compensation
(b) migrant satisfaction with experience abroad
(c) migrant experiences abroad (e.g. experience of abuse, long work hours etc.)

3. Dimensions of Heterogeneity:
(a) Cognitive ability
(b) Risk and time preferences
(c) Education
(d) Locus of control
(e) Wealth/economic status
(f) Beliefs about migation experiences (e.g. expected compensation, rates of problems)

Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
This project has three experimental arms, which feature different combinations of two information sharing products designed specifically for migrant workers.

The first product is a paper-based placement agency “report card”. The report card will rank the most-frequently used placement agencies in the area and will include the name of the placement agency, the number of reviews from migrants, and an overall score, with an associated smiley face graphic to indicate overall quality. The report cards will also include contact information for the placement agencies.

The second product will take the form of a short comic book. The goal of the comic book is to help communicate in an accessible manner the fact that placement agency quality, and not just fate, matters in affecting migration outcomes. (Pilot research indicated that many migrants did not believe agency quality was important for their overall migration outcome. Thus, one reason migrants may not attend to available information about agency quality is that they do not think it is important). The comic will explain why agency quality matters through the story of a fictional migrant worker – here, the emphasis will be on relatable characters and simple, clear language
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
The randomization will be done using a computerized random number generator.
Randomization Unit
The unit of randomization is the village.
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Total of 400 villages of 8 districts that sent the largest numbers of female migrant workers in Indonesia will be enrolled in the research and randomly assigned to different treatments.
Sample size: planned number of observations
We will interview approximately 8,000 former and potential migrants at endline.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
By treatment arms, 100 villages will be assigned to report card treatment group, comic treatment group, report card + comic treatment group, and control group, respectively.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Assuming 80 percent power, 5 percent size, and an intra-village correlation in outcomes of 0.15 or less, our design will permit a 0.2 or better minimum detectable effect size for outcomes measured at the individual level.
Supporting Documents and Materials

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IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Dartmouth College Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects
IRB Approval Date
2014-11-17
IRB Approval Number
STUDY00024440
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is 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