The effect of online work-hour flexibility on composition and productivity of workers

Last registered on August 16, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

The effect of online work-hour flexibility on composition and productivity of workers
Initial registration date
August 16, 2023

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
August 16, 2023, 11:59 AM EDT

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



Primary Investigator


Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
PI Affiliation
PI Affiliation
PI Affiliation

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
We propose to conduct an experiment on a major international online freelancing labor market platform to study the impact of greater flexibility in choosing work hours on productivity and worker benefit. This document describes the analysis plan for the natural field experiment. This plan outlines the design of the study, the outcomes of interest, and the econometric approach.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Banerjee, Rakesh et al. 2023. "The effect of online work-hour flexibility on composition and productivity of workers." AEA RCT Registry. August 16.
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Number of acceptances, Number of complete rows entered, Number of correct rows entered, Uninterrupted time spent on the web portal, number of rows correctly entered/time spent actively working and number of rows correctly entered/time spent actively working, Self assessment of productivity, Adjustments made to schedule, difficulty in finding time for the task, room for oneself during the task, stopping for caring responsibility, self assessment of work experience.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Cover letter length, work samples, experience measures (total prior contracts, total prior contracted hours, total prior earnings), counteroffer, underbids, overbids and hourly wage, Age, married, number of children, number of young children, spouse employment, full time status on the platform, fixed work hour schedule, responsibilities during the day and educational qualification.

Our primary interest of heterogeneity is by gender. We will look at heterogeneous effects by gender for all the variables. We will also look at heterogeneity by region and stated hourly wage level.

Other variables of interest are stated preference for flexibility, stated time preference, acceptance of an inflexible job, chose to answer the optional survey and employer niceness. For continuous outcome variables we will also use log transformations of the outcome variables.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The study aims to understand the effect of providing flexibility in choosing the time of working on productivity and labour welfare. The study will use a natural field experiment to causally estimate the effect. We will post identical jobs on a major online freelance labour market platform that only differ in flexibility. These will be data entry jobs that are to be completed in a continuous two hour period and will have both a fixed wage component and a bonus component as well. A randomly chosen set of freelancers will be invited to apply to these jobs and all the applicants will be hired. At the end of the task, candidates will be asked to complete a survey. Our targeted sample size is 750 freelancers across all treatment arms. The target sample for the inflexible job is 300 freelancers (finishing the task) and for the committed hours is 300 freelancers (finishing the task) and 150 freelancers (finishing the task) for flexible jobs.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Not Clustered
Sample size: planned number of observations
750 Individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
150 individuals per treatment arm
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Human Research Ethics Office, Office of Research, The University of Western Australia
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

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Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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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