NEW UPDATE: Completed trials may now upload and register supplementary documents (e.g. null results reports, populated pre-analysis plans, or post-trial results reports) in the Post Trial section under Reports, Papers, & Other Materials.
Pre-Analysis Plan: The Short-Term Impacts of Factory Employment on the Fertility Choices of Married Women: Evidence from Ethiopia
Using a Randomized Controlled Trial
Initial registration date
November 09, 2017
November 10, 2017 1:44 PM EST
This section is unavailable to the public. Use the button below
to request access to this information.
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
This study investigates the causal relationship between export led manufacturing jobs on married women's fertility choices using a randomized controlled trial design. In this study, eligible job applicants in light manufacturing industries in Ethiopia are randomized to either receive a job offer at the factory they apply to (treatment), or a rejection (control). By following the sample applicants over time, we measure the causal effects of a job on fertility decisions. The insights from this study may be important for policy makers when designing policies to promote women empowerment and gender equality, or when trying to control population growth.
Halvorsen, Sandra. 2017. "Pre-Analysis Plan: The Short-Term Impacts of Factory Employment on the Fertility Choices of Married Women: Evidence from Ethiopia
Using a Randomized Controlled Trial." AEA RCT Registry. November 10.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes (end points)
The key outcome variables are reported in the follow-up survey. These are: actual fertility and preferred fertility.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
1. Actual fertility = Number of living children + 1 if pregnant.
2. Preferred fertility = Optimal number of children.
-If she has living children: If you could go back to the time you
did not have any children and could choose exactly the number
of children to have in your whole life, how many would that
-If she does not have any living children: If you could choose
exactly the number of children to have in your whole life, how
many would that be?
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
The Ethiopian government is actively accommodating foreign direct investors to develop an export led manufacturing industry and there are already several large and medium sized industrial parks on different locations across the country. In this study we work with firms within such industrial parks. Our intervention centers on light manufacturing factories in five different regions: Tigray, Amhara, Oromia, SNNP, and Dire Dawa.
The factories’ standard hiring procedure is to advertise bulks of positions by posting on the front gate, word of mouth, and local job boards. The applicants are asked to gather on a specific day and are screened for eligibility using verbal and physical tests. We are collaborating with large companies that are hiring new workers and are willing to slightly alter their recruitment process. The companies included in our study have agreed that they first assess all job applicants and determine whether each applicant is eligible for the job or not. Then, from the pool of eligible candidates, the company randomly selects those that will get a job. This is possible since there is surplus demand for jobs. The procedure will ensure that the comparison group has similar characteristics as those who got a job. We focus on women with partners in this study. The study design is similar as in a recent study by Blattman and Dercon (2016).
Experimental Design Details
Lists are created containing the eligible partnered entry-level applicants and within these lists some are then randomized to either receiving a job offer in the given factory (treatment) or to a control group. The randomization is done using computers and the applicants are informed about the procedure before randomization is conducted.
The level of randomization is by individuals.
Was the treatment clustered?
Sample size: planned number of clusters
The planned sample will consist of about 1700 women from 5 different industrial parks. The randomization is done at individual level per hiring block.
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
The randomization will assign equally many to treatment (hired) or control (not hired) groups.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
The effect sizes are expected to be low. First, the length of data collection is between 1.5 to 2 years, which leaves a short window for any pregnancies. Second, the control group are also job seekers, thus having a child may not be the first alternative choice for this group. Third, the job may not reduce actual fertility, only delay it. This is why we also include preferred fertility as an outcome variable.
Based on the effect sizes from comparible studies (discussed in the analysis plan attached) and the considerations of a shorter time period and a job-seeking control group, we believe the effect size of actual fertility to be about 1 percentage point (3 percentage points after 18 months) with standard error of 0.02.
On preferred fertility, the time percpective may not be important for the effect size. We therefore expect similar effectsize as Jensen (QJE, 2012), who found that women in the treatment villages reported that they wanted approximately 0.35 (st.error 0.078) fewer children compared to the control group mean of 3.0.
By use of power calculations for the actual and desired fertility with alpha-level 0.05 and sample size 1700, our study is underpowered which a power of
0.09 for finding the true eect size of actual fertility, while it is well powered at 1.00 for nding the true effect size for preferred fertility.
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)