Our study design conceptualizes the village as a distinct local labor market. We will select villages into our sample in which between 40 and 100 households participate in the casual daily labor market. A randomly selected 50% of villages will be treatment villages, from which we will hire up to 30% of prime age, male casual daily laborers. This will constitute a large demand shock to the village that will last for one month. The remaining 50% will be control villages, from which we will hire only one or two individuals. This will constitute a negligible shock. To test our predictions, we will examine the impact of the labor demand shocks on village wages and employment.
In each of the control and treatment villages, we will survey a representative sample of all workers who supply labor to the casual daily labor market. We will conduct three waves of surveys: at baseline (immediately before the demand shock), at endline (during the third week of the month-long demand shock), and at post-intervention (two weeks after the end of the demand shock, after all workers are back in the village labor force). In each survey, we will collect detailed daily recall data about wages: cash wages, details of in-kind payments (e.g. tea, whether meat was included in lunch, cash value of in-kind payments), whether the worker was paid on time, etc. In addition, we will collect details of employment (activity, length of breaks, hours worked, location) and self-reports of involuntary unemployment. We will also collect information about baseline characteristics of household enterprises (such as asset use, investment, and profits). Further, we will survey a small sample of agricultural employers in each village at endline (during the third week of the demand shock). This survey will capture data on the hiring of workers from inside and outside the village, employers' search efforts for workers, and farm operations. We will ask employers to rate the quality of a subset of workers in the village.