To carry out the intervention, six Cambodian districts were selected from within three provinces. Within each of the six districts, the partner NGO nominated two candidate villages, and a coin flip decided which would receive the intervention (treatment group) and which would be in the control. Prior to the intervention, researchers distributed 120 surveys to randomly selected villagers in each of the 12 treatment and control villages, and then returned to re-interview these same respondents a week after the intervention was carried out.
To test their theory, researchers employed original, firm-level survey experiments, conducted annually for three years starting in 2010. More than 19,000 domestic firms and nearly 4,000 foreign investment enterprises were contacted, all of which had registered after 2000. These firms were randomly divided into two groups: those who’d receive “form A” and those who’d receive “form B”. Both forms contained a list of four common activities related to business registration– “Hired a local consulting/law firm to obtain the license…” being one example.