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Can work contact and entertainment improve social cohesion between refugees and locals? Evidence from an experiment in Uganda
Last registered on February 23, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Can work contact and entertainment improve social cohesion between refugees and locals? Evidence from an experiment in Uganda
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0007238
Initial registration date
February 23, 2021
Last updated
February 23, 2021 6:18 AM EST
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Maastricht University & UNU-Merit
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2021-03-01
End date
2021-12-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Social cohesion is key for growth and development, especially in places with many nationalities and ethnicities. Countries with high influxes of refugees might encounter more issues in maintaining this cohesion, as displacement disrupts and changes social relations. Governments and organizations in host countries are interested in understanding what real-world activities could enhance social cohesion between host communities and displaced populations. We exploit a program that will target 800 refugee job seekers and 800 firms. We use the contact theory to explore the effect of two policies. First, the effect of direct contact in a real-world activity. Second, the effect of direct contact combined with vicarious contact through entertainment. Our main outcome of interest is a compound definition of social cohesion, that combines attitudes, implicit and explicit biases and behaviours in real and hypothetical activities.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Loiacono, Francesco and Mariajose Silva Vargas. 2021. "Can work contact and entertainment improve social cohesion between refugees and locals? Evidence from an experiment in Uganda." AEA RCT Registry. February 23. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.7238-1.0.
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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2021-04-01
Intervention End Date
2021-04-15
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Social cohesion between refugees and local workers.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
We will use a compound definition of social cohesion that comprises three major indicators: attitudes towards the out-group, implicit and explicit biases and behaviours in real and hypothetical scenarios.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Networks
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
800 firms will be randomly matched one-to-one with 800 refugee job-seekers. Within each firm, there will be at least one local worker besides the firm owner. Some firms will be given the possibility to hire a refugee for 1 week.

Treatment 1: Workers in 200 firms and 200 refugee job seekers will work together for at least 1 week.
Treatment 2: Workers in 200 firms and 200 refugee job seekers will work together for at least 1 week, and also watch a video at baseline.
Control: 400 firms and 400 refugees will not work together.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
N/A
Sample size: planned number of observations
800 firms' local workers and 800 refugees
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Treatment 1: 200 firms' local workers and 200 refugee job seekers
Treatment 2: 200 firms' local workers and 200 refugee job seekers
Control: 400 firms' local workers and 400 refugees
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Mildmay Uganda research and Ethics Committee (MUREC
IRB Approval Date
2020-11-26
IRB Approval Number
REF 0503-2019