Supporting women workers in factories: experimental evidence from India

Last registered on May 21, 2024


Trial Information

General Information

Supporting women workers in factories: experimental evidence from India
Initial registration date
May 20, 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
May 21, 2024, 11:37 AM EDT

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


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Primary Investigator

University of Oxford

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
PI Affiliation

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Multinational companies (MNCs) are increasingly implementing social initiatives that aim to improve the health and wellbeing of production workers in their supply chains. Yet, there is limited rigorous evidence on their effectiveness. We collaborate with a large MNC in the apparel sector to conduct a cluster randomised controlled trial (RCT), to study the effects of one such program on outcomes among women employed in Indian factories that are in the MNC's supply chain. This study will evaluate the program's impact on behavioural outcomes, particularly attrition. Additionally, we will investigate the program's effects on self-reported outcomes such as health literacy, health status, and embeddedness in the factory.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Amengual, Matthew , Ishrat Gadhok and Alessandro Guasti. 2024. "Supporting women workers in factories: experimental evidence from India." AEA RCT Registry. May 21.
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
retention in the factory; health literacy; health status; and embedded-ness in the factory
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
absenteeism; returning to the factory; job satisfaction; empowerment at home, empowerment at work; subjective wellbeing
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
This is a cluster randomised trial in the supply chain of an MNC. We use administrative data provided by the MNC to draw up a list of factories (clusters) that are eligible for the study. Ultimately, we had a sampling frame of 118 factories producing apparel, textiles, footwear, and accessories. We then sampled 75 factories proportionally to the strata size using the following criteria: size (above and below 500 workers), and geography (north and south).
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
The unit of randomisation of this cluster trial is the factory. To maximise the precision of our estimates, we used a matched quadruplet design following recommendations from the literature. We first calculated the Mahalanobis distance between factories on a set of blocking covariates; we then matched factories that were as similar as possible into quadruplets (18 quadruplets and 1 triplet). We randomly assigned the treatment to two factories in each quadruplet. We did the randomisation in R. Our blocking variables include the stratification variables of geography (North-South) and size, as well as the two factory-level outcomes of interest that we had access to at the time of randomisation: average turnover rates and average absenteeism.
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
75 factories
Sample size: planned number of observations
4500 women workers
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
38 factories in treatment group, and 37 factories in the control group
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Saïd Business School Departmental Research Ethics Committee (SBS DREC
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

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