Effects of Public Recognition of New Norms

Last registered on January 03, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

Effects of Public Recognition of New Norms
Initial registration date
December 22, 2022

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
January 03, 2023, 5:13 PM EST

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.



Primary Investigator

University of Wisconsin Madison

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Lahore School of Economics

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
How do social norms change? Both theoretical and empirical studies have tackled this question. On the theoretical front, studies have found that group reputation (Tirole, 1996), leadership (Acemoglu and Jackson, 2014), and social tipping (Schelling, 1978) affect the persistence of norms and can facilitate such change. On the empirical front, while Alesina et al. (2011), Alesina et al. (2013), and Fernández and Fogli (2009) demonstrate the persistence and transmission of social norms around fertility and female labor force participation by examining second-generation migrants with diverse cultural backgrounds living in the United States, Olivetti et al. (2020); Fogli and Veldkamp (2011); Fernández (2013); Fernández et al. (2004) show the new norm of women’s employment in the U.S. has been promoted by people
learning about the new norm from women around them who had worked. Furthermore, recent experimental studies illustrate that a norm can be changed rather quickly by the endorsement of a new norm by a public figure Bursztyn et al. (2020a) and by informing people of their peers’ true beliefs about existing norms Bursztyn et al. (2020b).

While the literature on norm erosion covers a broad range of potential mechanisms of norm changes and is diverse in research methodologies, it currently lacks empirical evidence on the effects of the endorsement of new norms by authority figures on beliefs about norms and actual behaviors, especially among employers. This is an important addition to the literature, especially in a context where women’s employment is seen as a norm violation. Identifying an intervention that can change a set of norms that prevents women from participating in the formal labor market has a potentially important policy implication.

In this project, we thus ask can the public recognition of a new norm about female hiring by industry leaders change employers’ beliefs in the gender-restricting norms and their actual hiring of women?
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Shibuya, Sakina and Zunia Tirmazee. 2023. "Effects of Public Recognition of New Norms." AEA RCT Registry. January 03. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.10696-1.0
Sponsors & Partners


There is information in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access.

Request Information
Experimental Details


This experiment randomly assigns viewing of a video in which industry members promote female hiring. This approximately 8-minute long video is aimed to symbolize the public recognition of the new norm to hire women by industry members, and has been produced by the authors, and includes leaders form two prominent trade associations, one human resources manager of a well-known large-scale firm (over 3,000 employees), one factory manager of a small company (about 400 employees), and an owner of micro company (about 15 employees). All discussants are male. The main message of this video is the promotion of female hiring in the industry. Each discussant in the video discusses their views on female hiring and female workers in the industry. The trade association leaders link female hiring to the industry’s growth, especially via increased export volume. Meanwhile, the three businessmen provide their respective experiences with hiring women,
which include both the benefits and challenges of introducing female workers, and explain why their companies hire women.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
The primary outcome of interest is companies’ female hiring after the treatment. In order to collect the data on this outcome, we conduct a phone survey approximately six months after the initial survey interview. More specifically, we construct two variables that capture the primary outcome:
1. Hired female workers: An indicator variable equals 1 if a firm has hired at least one female
worker since the initial interview
2. Number of female workers hired: A continuous variable represents the number of female workers hired since the initial interview.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
We also expect that the video can influence top managers’ perception of female hiring and female workers. Thus, we additionally investigate the video effect on the following dimensions:
1. Wife’s work status: Whether a top manager’s wife has obtained out-of-home employment since the initial interview
2. View on competency across gender: General view on the work performance across gender
3. View on out-of-home employment for women: General view on female labor force participation
4. View on hiring women in the industry: General view on female hiring by common positions in the industry
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We randomly sample 600 firms from the membership lists of two trade associations: the Pakistan Hosiery Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PHMA) and the Pakistan Ready-made Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA). 0f the 600 firms, we randomly assign 300 firms to the video treatment group and the other half to the control group with no video showing.
The video treatment is administered during a survey interview that takes place at each company’s premise sometime between January - April 2023. At each company’s premise, we interview its top manager, who has control over the firm’s hiring policy and is not necessarily its owner. During this interview, if the company is assigned to the treatment group, its top manager watches the video on a tablet provided by our enumerator. Therefore, respondents, while they share membership to either of the above trade associations, do not know who receives the video treatment.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization is conducted by a computer program written by the authors.
Randomization Unit
Individual companies
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Treated: 300 Control:300
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
The minimum detectable effect size, given the treatment and control group size of 300 firms each, is 22.91 percent points.
Supporting Documents and Materials


Document Name
IRB Exemption Letter
Document Type
Document Description
IRB Exemption Letter

MD5: 1a26d107f1fc610d649611066f4ce5ec

SHA1: 1395e737e2831e918d90011e96d371edfd97316f

Uploaded At: December 22, 2022


Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of Wisconsin-Madison
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

Analysis Plan Documents

Pre-analysis Plan

MD5: d734d87975b9d3896cdd6715b80c7f4b

SHA1: f4d4892d660c7c99ab9cf90081849f3c0da5699c

Uploaded At: December 22, 2022


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

There is information in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access.

Request Information


Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials