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Evaluation Summary and Metrics: 'The Benefits and Costs of Guest Worker Programs: Experimental Evidence from the India-UAE Migration Corridor'

Evaluation Summary and Metrics: 'The Benefits and Costs of Guest Worker Programs: Experimental Evidence from the India-UAE Migration Corridor' for The Unjournal.

Published onMay 15, 2024
Evaluation Summary and Metrics: 'The Benefits and Costs of Guest Worker Programs: Experimental Evidence from the India-UAE Migration Corridor'
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Abstract

This summarizes the evaluations of the paper: “The Benefits and Costs of Guest Worker Programs: Experimental Evidence from the India-UAE Migration Corridor”. These evaluations can be found below.

We organized two evaluations of the paper: The Benefits and Costs of Guest Worker Programs: Experimental Evidence from the India-UAE Migration Corridor

Authors: Suresh Naidu, Yaw Nyarko & Shing-Yi Wang

Evaluations

1. Evaluation 1 (anonymous)

2. Evaluation 2 (anonymous)

Overall ratings

We asked evaluators to provide overall assessments, in addition to ratings for a range of specific criteria.

I. Overall assessment:1 We asked them to rank this paper “heuristically” as a percentile “relative to all serious research in the same area that you have encountered in the last three years.” We requested they “consider all aspects of quality, credibility, importance to knowledge production, and importance to practice.”

II. Journal rank tier, normative rating (0-5):2 “On a ‘scale of journals’, what ‘quality of journal’ should this be published in? (See ranking tiers discussed here)” Note: 0= lowest/none, 5= highest/best”.

Overall assessment (0-100)

Journal rank tier, normative rating (0-5)

Evaluator 1

75

4.5

Evaluator 2

75

3.5

See “Metrics” below for a more detailed breakdown of the evaluators’ ratings across several categories. To see these ratings in the context of all Unjournal ratings, with some analysis, see our data presentation here.3

See here for the current full evaluator guidelines, including further explanation of the requested ratings.4

Evaluation summaries

Evaluator 1

Evaluator did not give a summary. Below, an AI-generated bullet-point summary.

  • Praises the research for attempting to estimate important welfare impacts of temporary migration

  • Finds the methods clearly justified, reasonable, and potential biases discussed

  • Highlights limitation of using friend/family responses for some observations, which could introduce measurement error (not discussed by authors)

  • Two areas of unclear communication: 1) terms of contract between broker and job seeker, 2) whether migration to countries other than UAE is considered

  • Suggests exploring heterogeneity by contingent agent fee amount

  • Suggests controlling for caste/religious minority status when analyzing social network effects

  • Commends authors for being open about limitations and providing replication materials

Evaluator 2

The key contributions of this paper are its analysis of intermediary costs of migration, migrant well-being and diversity in the workplace, expectations of job-seekers and joint comparisons of various pecuniary and non-pecuniary measures of migration. A major limitation is the lack of a welfare justification for randomisation and little to no discussion on equipoise. My suggestions largely revolve around improvements to the discussion of methodology, representativeness, attrition and representation of treatment effects.

Metrics

Ratings

See here for details on the categories below, and the guidance given to evaluators.

Evaluator 1

[Anon. for now]

Evaluator 2

[Anon. for now]

Rating category

Rating (0-100)

90% CI

(0-100)*

Comments

Rating (0-100)

90% CI

(0-100)*

Comments

Overall assessment5

75

(70, 85)

See evaluation report

75

(60, 90)

Advancing knowledge and practice6

80

(75, 85)

See evaluation report

85

(75, 95)

Methods: Justification, reasonableness, validity, robustness7

75

(70, 80)

See evaluation report

40

(30, 60)

Logic & communication8

70

(65, 75)

See evaluation report

85

(60, 90)

Open, collaborative, replicable9

70

(65, 75)

See evaluation report

90

(85, 95)

Real-world relevance 10

80

(75, 85)

See evaluation report

90

(85, 95)

Relevance to global priorities11

70

(60, 80)

See evaluation report

90

(85, 95)

Journal ranking tiers

See here for more details on these tiers.

Evaluator 1

[Anon.]

Evaluator 2

[Anon.]

Judgment

Ranking tier (0-5)

90% CI

Comments

Ranking tier (0-5)

90% CI

Comments

On a ‘scale of journals’, what ‘quality of journal’ should this be published in?

4.5

(4.0, 5.0)

3.5

(3.0, 4.0)

What ‘quality journal’ do you expect this work will be published in?

4.5

(4.0, 5.0)

4.3

(4.0, 4.5)

See here for more details on these tiers.

We summarize these as:

  • 0.0: Marginally respectable/Little to no value

  • 1.0: OK/Somewhat valuable

  • 2.0: Marginal B-journal/Decent field journal

  • 3.0: Top B-journal/Strong field journal

  • 4.0: Marginal A-Journal/Top field journal

  • 5.0: A-journal/Top journal

Evaluation manager’s discussion

This paper serves as a valuable policy discussion on migration in high-density corridors (such as those between India and the UAE), using the case of guest worker visas. Overall, the paper offers a closer look at the non-pecuniary benefits of such programs on workers (e.g., in terms of subjective well-being), which is a novel area that is difficult to address. The UAE-India migration corridor also comes with historical context that the authors find challenging to incorporate in their analyses. In terms of overall analysis, the extension of the experimental findings to overall efficiency gains from migration are also difficult to examine at face value given methodological challenges that one of the evaluators has raised.

Unjournal process notes

Why we chose this paper

We considered this paper within the context of a set of recent papers involving migration under our manager autonomy track, with substantial input from others on our team. From the suggester:

… The paper claims that receipt of the random offer experienced 30% higher earnings, and those who took up the offer to migrate to the UAE doubled their compensation. The paper makes a case for liberalised immigration system to facilitate international labour migration. It has global implications.

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