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Title The Myth of the Misinformed Irregular Migrant? Insights from Nigeria
Post date 11/13/2018
C1 Background and Explanation of Rationale The last several years have seen vast numbers of migrants, many of them from sub-Saharan Africa, attempt to reach Europe irregularly by way of the "Mediterranean route," a reflection of multiple migration pressures from sub-Saharan Africa that are unlikely to subside anytime soon (Hanson and McIntosh 2016). In turn, European governments have invested heavily in initiatives to deter irregular migration, and there has been an explosion of information campaigns designed to impress upon potential migrants the dangers of journeying across the Sahara and the Mediterranean Sea and the unwelcoming reception they might receive in Europe (Schans and Optekamp 2016). Beyond the urgent political and complex ethical implications of these programs, there is little research on whether they accomplish their stated objectives and there is a surprising lack of evidence concerning the extent to which potential migrants are misinformed about the costs and potential benefits of trying to irregularly migrate to Europe in the first place. We address these questions with a representative survey, including two survey experiments, in Benin City, the epicenter of irregular migration out of Nigeria, which itself is the single largest sub-Saharan African source of irregular migrants to Europe.
C2 What are the hypotheses to be tested? We will conduct three principal types of analysis with the survey data. First, we will examine migration-relevant knowledge and beliefs and test whether they differ across potential migrants and non-migrants (as indicated by a set of variables related to intent, willingness, and planning). We will also provide descriptive summaries of each of these sets of items as well as family and household-level migration histories, and we will assess the spatial distributions of these indicators across Benin City. Second, we will test a set of hypotheses concerning correlates of both migration-related knowledge and beliefs as well as migration intent (including gender, socioeconomic measures, household shocks, cognitive ability, attitudes toward risk and time discounting, exposure to violence and insecurity, political satisfaction, social networks and social media engagement). Third, we estimate the effects of subjects being assigned to control or treatment conditions in two survey experiments, in which subjects are provided with (a) either a placebo statement or information from the German government about life in Germany, and (b) either a placebo statement or information from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) about the risks of the irregular migration journey. Our core outcome of interest is subjects’ interest in migrating irregularly. We allow treatment effects to vary by prior knowledge, gender, and socioeconomic measures. See the detailed pre-analysis plan for further information.
C3 How will these hypotheses be tested? * For each comparison, we will report regression results and classic hypothesis tests. When appropriate, we adjust for potentially remaining imbalances in our data by including a relevant set of control variables. We will report difference-in-differences estimates when possible. See the detailed pre-analysis plan for further information.
C4 Country Nigeria
C5 Scale (# of Units) The target sample size is 500 randomly sampled households. A short-form interview is conducted with the head/senior member of each household and an in-depth interview with a randomly sampled household member.
C6 Was a power analysis conducted prior to data collection? Yes
C7 Has this research received Insitutional Review Board (IRB) or ethics committee approval? Yes
C8 IRB Number 2018/3/43 (WZB Research Ethics Review)
C9 Date of IRB Approval 10 September 2018
C10 Will the intervention be implemented by the researcher or a third party? Researchers
C11 Did any of the research team receive remuneration from the implementing agency for taking part in this research? No
C12 If relevant, is there an advance agreement with the implementation group that all results can be published? not provided by authors
C13 JEL Classification(s) F22, O15, C83