Impact of Female Leadership on Aspirations and Educational Attainment for Teenage Girls in India

Last registered on October 24, 2016

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Impact of Female Leadership on Aspirations and Educational Attainment for Teenage Girls in India
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0001632
Initial registration date
October 24, 2016
Last updated
October 24, 2016, 10:21 AM EDT

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
MIT

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
International Monetary Fund
PI Affiliation
Harvard University
PI Affiliation
Northwestern University

Additional Trial Information

Status
Completed
Start date
1998-01-01
End date
2007-12-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Using a randomized natural experiment in India, we show that female leadership influences adolescent girls' career aspirations and educational attainment. In an effort to increase women's participation in politics, the constitution was amended in 1993 to require a random third of village council positions to be reserved for women. We conducted surveys with adolescents aged between 11 to 15 and their parents and found that the presence of a female leader in the village: significantly increased parents' aspirations for their daughters, led to a decrease in the gender gap in aspirations - 25% in parents and 32% in adolescents, and led to a reduction in the amount of time girls spent on household chores for two election cycles (1998 and 2003). We found no evidence of changes in young women's labor market opportunities, which suggests that the impact of women leaders has a role model effect.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
, et al. 2016. "Impact of Female Leadership on Aspirations and Educational Attainment for Teenage Girls in India." AEA RCT Registry. October 24. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.1632-1.0
Former Citation
, et al. 2016. "Impact of Female Leadership on Aspirations and Educational Attainment for Teenage Girls in India." AEA RCT Registry. October 24. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/1632/history/11434
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
The treatment groups consist of villages that have had the village council position randomly reserved for a female. Between 1998, when the system was implemented, and 2007, when data was collected, the village council position could have been reserved for a woman once (in 1998 or 2003), twice (in 1998 and 2003), or never.
Intervention Start Date
1998-01-01
Intervention End Date
2003-12-31

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Adolescent's aspirations for self, parental aspirations for son/daughter, Educational attainment, Time spent on household chores, Labor market opportunities
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
The gender gap between adolescent girls' and boys' aspirations and educational attainment was also measured.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
This study took advantage of a large-scale randomized natural experiment in India, where a law was passed that required randomly selected villages to reserve leadership positions in the village councils for females. This quickly increased the number of women in leadership positions at the village level.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
The study exploits a natural experiment, and so the random selection of the villages into treatment groups was done by the Indian government prior to any researcher involvement. Prior to an election, village council positions in a district were randomly assigned across three lists to ensure some positions are reserved for disadvantaged minorities: Reserved for scheduled castes (SC), Reserved for scheduled tribes (ST), and Unreserved. Within a list, village councils are ordered by serial number. In 1998, every third council starting with number one on each list was required to be reserved for a woman. In 2003 every third council starting with number two on each list.
Randomization Unit
Village
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
495 villages
Sample size: planned number of observations
8,453 individuals surveyed; including parents of adolescents and adolescents themselves.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Once-reserved: 213 villages
Twice-reserved: 60 villages
Never-reserved: 222 villages
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Supporting Documents and Materials

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IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
MIT Committee on the Use of Humans as Experimental Subjects
IRB Approval Date
2006-02-01
IRB Approval Number
0601001589

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
Yes
Intervention Completion Date
December 31, 2003, 12:00 +00:00
Data Collection Complete
Yes
Data Collection Completion Date
December 31, 2007, 12:00 +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
495 villages
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
8453 individuals surveyed; including parents of adolescents and adolescents themselves.
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
Once-reserved - 213 villages Twice-reserved - 60 villages Never-reserved - 222 villages
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?
Yes

Program Files

Program Files
Yes
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Abstract
Exploiting a randomized natural experiment in India, we show that female leadership influences adolescent girls' career aspirations and educational attainment. A 1993 law reserved leadership positions for women in randomly selected village councils. Using 8453 surveys of adolescents aged 11 to 15 and their parents in 495 villages, we found that, relative to villages in which such positions were never reserved, the gender gap in aspirations closed by 20% in parents and 32% in adolescents in villages assigned a female leader for two election cycles (1998 and 2003). The gender gap in adolescent educational attainment was erased, and girls spent less time on household chores. We found no evidence of changes in young women's labor market opportunities, which suggests that the impact of women leaders primarily reflects a role model effect.
Citation
Beaman, Lori, Esther Duflo, Rohini Pande, and Petia Topalova. 2012. "Female Leadership Raises Aspirations and Educational Attainment for Girls: A Policy Experiment in India." Science 355(2012): 582-586.

Reports & Other Materials