Female Labor Force Participation and Mixed Gender Workplaces

Last registered on January 09, 2024


Trial Information

General Information

Female Labor Force Participation and Mixed Gender Workplaces
Initial registration date
January 06, 2024

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 09, 2024, 11:49 AM EST

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



Primary Investigator

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Female labor force participation remains strikingly low in many parts of the developing world. This is particularly true in countries with conservative gender norms that limit the interaction of women with non-familial men. In this study, we plan to test the impact of workplace gender composition on female labor force participation. Our project is based in Bihar, a low-income state in India, where less than ten percent of women work. We plan to test whether the take-up of otherwise identical jobs is higher in workplaces that are women-only compared to ones that are mixed.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Rajah, Kailash. 2024. "Female Labor Force Participation and Mixed Gender Workplaces." AEA RCT Registry. January 09. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.12801-1.0
Experimental Details


We randomize whether women are eligible to apply for a job in a mixed-gender or women-only call center.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)

Women’s interest in applying for jobs in the initial recruitment survey
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
In the survey, the participants are randomly offered a job at one of two call centers - women only or the mixed workplace. Based on the description provided in the flyer, we elicit their interest in applying for the job.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
- Completion of job application form
- Attendance in different training sessions
- Beliefs about workplace safety
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Completion of job application form: At the end of the survey, interested participants will be asked to complete a job application form to confirm their interest in the position.

Attendance in training session: After the initial survey, participants who applied for the job will be invited to participate in a training session introducing them to the workplace.

Beliefs about workplace safety: We ask women to report how safe they think the workplace is for women

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Recruitment: We conduct door-to-door sampling in urban neighborhoods in Patna, India. Survey teams are allocated to streets within a neighborhood. We target streets that are close to the call centers we are establishing and contain predominantly middle-income households. We target all households on a given street.

Sample: After approaching a house, we mention that we are conducting a survey on women’s job preferences and will be eliciting interest for working in one of two call centers. We tell them that one of the call centers is mixed-gender and the other is women only. Surveyors then ask to speak with a married woman, who can read and write, and is aged between 18-60. If there are multiple such women, the surveyor will pick one whose husband is currently present, and then select the one who is closest to 35. We recruit a maximum of one woman in any given household. If a woman’s husband is currently present, we ask them to join the survey. If not, we complete the demographic questions for the wife, and reschedule the remainder of the survey for when the husband and wife are both available.

Demographics: After consent, we collect basic demographic details from the wife including work history and education. In this section, we ask the wife whether she is interested in new work opportunities using a 4 point Likert scale. If she says that she is not at all interested in new jobs, we screen the couple out of the survey. Otherwise, we stratify the randomization of mixed-gender and women-only workplaces based on their level of interest. We then move to husband’s demographics (when he is present).

Interest in jobs: We then inform participants of the two nearby call centers we are opening (the mixed-gender center and women-only center) and that we are looking to hire women for the call centers on a part-time basis. We ask women and their husbands whether they are interested in hearing more about the opportunities. If participants say they are not interested, we again screen them out of the survey.

If they are interested, we then explain that the tasks, management, amenities, and probability of getting a job are the same across both centers. We also highlight that this a one-time offer. We then tell them which call center they have been randomized to receive a job in, hand them the relevant job flyer, and read it to them. Finally, we tell participants the job salary and ask whether they are interested in applying for the job. We allow couples to discuss the offer with each other if they would like to.

Randomization: In addition to stratifying treatment into the mixed-gender or women-only workplace, we also randomize which version of the recruitment flyer participants see. We use over 20 unique photos that are split across 4 women-only and 4 mixed-gender versions of the flyers to ensure that treatment effects are not driven by any one photo or flyer. We also randomize the wage offer participants receive to measure willingness to accept jobs and to benchmark treatment effects.

First stage: We then check that participants understood the treatment by confirming their understanding of (i) the salary, (ii) whether or not there will be men working in the call center they have been offered.

Within person job choice: We re-affirm to participants that they will only be allowed to work in the call center they have been assigned to but ask whether they would hypothetically be interested in applying to the other call center at the same wage. We then ask them which call center they would prefer to work in and why.

Beliefs about workplace safety: We then elicit participant’s beliefs about how safe they think the workplace they were randomized into is.

Norms and spousal jealousy: We measure spousal jealousy and gender norms regarding impropriety using four survey questions. We ask these questions to the wife, in private. The questions ask (i) directly about spousal jealousy, (ii) personal beliefs about how appropriate it is for married women to interact with other men (iii) second order beliefs, and (iv) a measure of controlling behavior on the part of the husband. We will create an index using these questions. As secondary analysis, we will analyze heterogeneous treatment effects using the index.

Job application form and contact information: If women are interested in applying for the job, we ask them to complete a job application form outlining their personal details, motivations for applying as well as professional or personal references.

Training day: Interested participants will be invited for training sessions for the job.

Attendance: A subset of the trained candidates will be offered jobs at the workplaces. The 2 week long contract will provide the participants with data collection and data entry tasks.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done by Qualtrics.
Randomization Unit
Treatments are randomized at the individual level.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
800 individuals across two treatment arms
Sample size: planned number of observations
800 individuals across two treatment arms
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
400 per experimental arm
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Minimum detectable effect: Assuming a control mean of 0.3 (in the mixed-gender group), a sample size of 800, power of 0.8. We have a minimum detectable effect of 0.094 for a given wage offer.

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

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