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You are here Research > Labour and Entrepreneurship > Role Models in Vietnam

Information, identification, or neither? Experimental evidence on role models in Vietnam


  • Researchers:
    • Gaia Narciso, Carol Newman and Finn Tarp

  • Partners:
    • University of Copenhagen, UNU-WIDER

  • Location:
    • Vietnam

  • Sample:
    • 582 ethnic minority households in the provinces of Lao Cai, Lai Chau, and Dien Bien in Vietnam

  • Timeline:
    • 2016-2020

  • Theme:
    • Role models, ethnic minorities

  • Description:
    • Both information and role model provision have been shown to be highly effective in stimulating economic activities. But do such approaches work also for communities that are remote from knowledge exchange, new technological ideas, markets, and policy decision making? We present experimental evidence on the impact of a role models intervention that aims to inspire ethnic minority households to start businesses and diversify income sources. The research design enables us to disentangle the extent to which role models could shift behaviour by providing information or inspiration. We find that despite successful implementation of the intervention, which was powered to detect reasonably small effects, and a high level of compliance, the role model intervention did not impact on income, livelihoods, or other welfare outcomes. Our findings cast doubt over the generalizability of role model interventions in inducing behavioural change in contexts where populations are severely marginalized and face a variety of binding constraints.