The Short and Long-term Effects of Hunger on Behavioral Outcomes, Labor Productivity, and Economic Decision-making

Last registered on December 10, 2017

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
The Short and Long-term Effects of Hunger on Behavioral Outcomes, Labor Productivity, and Economic Decision-making
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0002620
Initial registration date
December 07, 2017

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
December 10, 2017, 9:18 PM EST

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

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Cornell University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Cornell University

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2017-12-11
End date
2018-07-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
While many of the world’s poor consume inadequate amount of calories and consume calories with low nutritional value, there has been little work on how this may shape their behaviors. Using a lab-in-the-field and field experiment settings in the context of a floriculture plant in Ethiopia, this study investigates the short and the long-term effects of nutrition on labor productivity and economic decision-making by randomly providing nutritious filling snacks to workers. To explain the mechanism through which this relationship might exist, I examine to what extent hunger alleviation affects individual’s prosociality, attention, stress, and physical ability. By examining behavioral outcomes related to productivity and economic decision-making, this study shifts the focus from how nutrition affects the physical aspects to the mental and the behavioral aspects.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
, and Seollee Park. 2017. "The Short and Long-term Effects of Hunger on Behavioral Outcomes, Labor Productivity, and Economic Decision-making." AEA RCT Registry. December 10. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.2620
Former Citation
, and Seollee Park. 2017. "The Short and Long-term Effects of Hunger on Behavioral Outcomes, Labor Productivity, and Economic Decision-making." AEA RCT Registry. December 10. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2620/history/23841
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
We target workers working in Ethio AgriCEFT PLC flower plantation to randomly provide the following interventions for a duration of two months:

1. Treatment: Daily nutritious snacks (adequate macro and micronutrients) provided during work days, containing a staple food (bread), a protein supplement from animal source food (eggs, dried meat, or milk), a vitamin and mineral supplement from fruits or vegetables, and an energy supplement (a small amount of fat, oil, or sugar) to increase energy density (e.g., egg firfir sandwich with fruit juice and tea). The total caloric content of the snack per person will be approximately 500 kcal.

2. Control: Provide unsweetened tea or other drinks (zero calorie) and snacks with no or very little nutritional value as a placebo for the participants to receive the same amount of break time at the same time as the treatment group.
Intervention Start Date
2017-12-18
Intervention End Date
2018-02-16

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
o First-stage Outcome: Nutrition (24-hour dietary recall, Household food consumption frequency)

o Intermediary Outcomes: Social preference/Prosociality (Cooperation personality traits, Sorting game by teams, Interpersonal cooperation assessment); Limited Attention (Effort task, Sorting game); Stress/emotional stability (Cohen perceived stress scale, Positive and negative affect schedule); Physical Function (Motor function, Anthropometry)

o Final Outcomes: Labor productivity measures (Number of flowers harvested, Number of flowers sorted/bunched); Economic decision-making measures (Individual profit from double-oral auction; Savings decisions)
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Dictator game, ultimatum game, trust game (Social preference); Simple arithmetic test scores; Attendance, tardiness, and turnover rate (Labor productivity); hypothetical purchase and financial decisions (Economic decision-making)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The study will take a randomized controlled experimental design, in which each participant is randomly assigned to two treatments, one of which is a control. For fairness reasons, the control group will receive a reward after the endline survey, and will be informed of such reward in the beginning of the study.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer.
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Not clustered
Sample size: planned number of observations
320 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
160 individuals control, 160 individuals snacks treatment
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
Institutional Review Board for Human Participants, Cornell University
IRB Approval Date
2017-11-21
IRB Approval Number
1711007621
IRB Name
Research and Ethics Committee, Myungsung Medical College, Ethiopia
IRB Approval Date
2017-10-26
IRB Approval Number
MMC/EC/743/20l7
IRB Name
Oromia Regional Health Bureau Department of Public Health Emergency management and Health Research
IRB Approval Date
2017-10-31
IRB Approval Number
N/A

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
No
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?
No

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials