Discrimination in labor markets of Ecuador, Colombia, Perú, Bolivia, and Paraguay: field experiments

Last registered on February 09, 2024


Trial Information

General Information

Discrimination in labor markets of Ecuador, Colombia, Perú, Bolivia, and Paraguay: field experiments
Initial registration date
October 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
October 17, 2023, 1:53 PM EDT

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

Last updated
February 09, 2024, 12:10 PM EST

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.



Primary Investigator

Inter-American Development Bank

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Inter-American Development Bank

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
This study is a comprehensive research initiative to 1) quantify discrimination against diverse and vulnerable groups in the labor market in Latin American countries; and 2) test the effectiveness of behavioral interventions to reduce discrimination. The primary methodology employed is field experiments, specifically "vignette studies," as described in the literature on experimental field economics. This approach has been previously applied by the researchers in this team:

1) Conceptual and Methodological Note to Measure Discrimination Against Slum Dwellers and the Impact on Discrimination of Slum Upgrading Interventions: Case Study of Buenos Aires (2020) http://dx.doi.org/10.18235/0002907
2) Job Market Discrimination against Slum Dwellers in Urban Argentina (2022) http://dx.doi.org/10.18235/0004179
3) Hacia una nueva metodología para conducir experimentos de campo para el estudio de la discriminación: el caso de los migrantes en el mercado inmobiliario colombiano (2022) http://dx.doi.org/10.18235/0004467
4) Discrimination Against Workers From Slums: What Is its Extent, What Explains It, and How Do We Tackle It? (2023) http://dx.doi.org/10.18235/0004799
5) Discrimination Against Migrants and its Determinants Evidence from a Multi-Purpose Field Experiment in the Housing Rental Market (2023) http://dx.doi.org/10.18235/0004803
6) Measuring Labor Market Discrimination against LGTBQ+ in the Case of Ecuador: A Field Experiment (2023) http://dx.doi.org/10.18235/0005026

The current study aims to measure discrimination and evaluate public policy options within the labor markets of Bolivia, Colombia, Perú, Paraguay, and Ecuador. The focus is on specific vulnerable populations:

In Bolivia, the study targets individuals with physical disabilities, rural-urban migrants, and transgender people.
In Colombia and Perú, the emphasis is on migrants and those with physical disabilities.
Paraguay's study centers on individuals with physical disabilities, women, and another yet-to-be-defined population.
Ecuador's research is on Venezuelan migrants, individuals with physical disabilities, and women.

The study is structured into several phases, all of which will be conducted in Bolivia, Colombia, Perú, Paraguay, and Ecuador:

Experimental Design Phase: This involves creating a virtual platform for participants who will be Human Resource Recruiters whom we will hire to conduct an experiment. Through this platform, they will replicate the selection processes for job applications associated with various job vacancies.
Experimental Implementation Phase: Data on recruiters' sociodemographic profiles and cognitive-socioemotional characteristics are collected. Recruiters will evaluate synthetic profiles of job applicants using the platform.
Results Analysis Phase: Data is compiled to study recruiters' responses. The findings will then be disseminated to inform public policymakers.

External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Duryea, Suzanne and Wladimir Zanoni. 2024. "Discrimination in labor markets of Ecuador, Colombia, Perú, Bolivia, and Paraguay: field experiments." AEA RCT Registry. February 09. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.12295-1.1
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Probability of selecting a minority candidate; Differences in wages offered between a minority and a non-minority candidate; Differences in fit for the job assessments between minority and non-minority job applicants.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Research Design and Collaboration with a Consulting Firm:
In our upcoming research spanning five countries (Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Paraguay), we intend to partner with a consulting firm that has a physical presence in each of these nations. This firm will be instrumental in implementing our field experiment, given its local expertise and understanding of the diverse labor markets.

Recruitment of Human Resource Recruiters:
We will hire experienced human resource recruiters from the labor markets of each country. To ensure genuine engagement and commitment, the recruitment process will be presented as a real job-hiring exercise. Our strategy to source these recruiters will involve respondent-driven sampling (RDS) referrals and LinkedIn and other media platforms job postings. To acknowledge their expertise and time, recruiters will be compensated competitively, which will also enhance the credibility and impact of our study.

Gathering Preliminary Insights:
To inform our experimental design, we plan to conduct interviews and focus groups with key stakeholders in each country. This will include recruitment agencies, independent agents, LGBTQ+ migrants and women workers, and labor market experts in academia and governments. The insights and feedback from these interactions will be pivotal in tailoring our experiment to closely resemble the authentic job market settings in the respective countries.

Creation of Synthetic Job Applicant Profiles:
We aim to create a controlled experimental environment that mirrors the real-world job application process. To achieve this, we will design synthetic resumes that are representative of actual job applications in the formal labor markets of the five countries. These profiles will be comparable in qualifications and attributes, with the only distinction being the self-identification as a minority for some candidates. This approach will allow us to isolate and measure the potential impact of minority identity on recruiters' evaluations.

Experimental Trials:
Our experiment will consist of up to ten trials per human resources recruiter hired in each country. In some trials, an applicant will be randomly assigned to disclose their minority membership, while others will not. We will also include trials comparing different genders, migrants versus locals, and placebo trials with no distinguishable prejudiced attributes. This design will enable us to explore discriminatory behaviors in various contexts, while also masking the primary research objective.

Development of an Online Platform:
To efficiently conduct our experiment, we will develop a custom web platform tailored to our study's requirements. This platform will serve as the interface for presenting candidates to the recruiters and collecting their evaluations. It will be designed to ensure a seamless experience for the recruiters, while also maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of the experiment.

Recruiter Onboarding and Data Collection:
All participating recruiters will be required to register on our online platform. We will collect information on their socioeconomic background, education, work experience, and knowledge of the local labor market. To gain deeper insights into their evaluation process, we will track metrics like the time spent reviewing applications and their activity on the platform. After registration, recruiters will be presented with job vacancies and corresponding candidate profiles to evaluate.
Experimental Design Details
We will use Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regressions to compare job candidates with and without physical disabilities, as well as those from Venezuela vs. Ecuador. We looked at three dependent variables:
"Selection" - this tells us which candidate the recruiter chose as their top pick (1 for selected, 0 for not selected).
"Fit for the job" - a rating on a scale of 1 to 10, showing how suitable the job applicant seemed to the recruiter.
The salary offered to each candidate (if they were offered the job), measured on a logarithmic scale.
Our main focus was on whether the candidate had a physical disability or was Venezuelan, which we treated as our main independent variable.
We used three different models to analyze the data:
M1: The first model looked at the relationship between the candidate's background and the outcomes without any conditions.
M2: The second model considered how recruiters behaved when they saw information about the candidate's minority status, as well as the candidates’ demographic characteristics. Fixed effects were added at city level and variations in standard errors were clustered at the recruiter level.
M3: The third model factored in the candidates’ demographic characteristics. Fixed effects were added at the recruiter level, including the recruiter’s sociodemographic characteristics. Variations in standard errors were taken into account at city level.
We calculated the average differences in outcomes using these three models. The estimated models for the analysis follow the general equation number 1:
Y_itr=β_0+ β_1 X_it+ ε_itr (1)
where Y is the dependent variable, which corresponds to synthetic candidate i for position t, evaluated by recruiter r; X is the independent variable of interest; and ε is the error term. The dependent variables, the main independent variable and the control variables are included according to the specification indicated in the estimates.
Randomization Method
A random number will be assigned to job applicant candidates within each evaluation set (or trial of the experiment); the online platform will use that random number to assign a minority condition to one of the individuals in each set.
Randomization Unit
The unit of randomization are the simulated job applicants
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
350 per country
Sample size: planned number of observations
1750 recruiters across all countries
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
150-200 treated with nudge 1; 150-200 treated with nudge 2; 150-200 untreated
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Supporting Documents and Materials

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

Request Information

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


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