The American Economic Association's registry for randomized controlled trials
Last registered on May 15, 2018
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Initial registration date
May 11, 2018
May 15, 2018 11:09 AM EDT
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Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Firms & Productivity
Flexibility in work arrangements has become increasingly relevant for employees and their ability to reconcile work and family life, both for men and women, and for employers, who are looking for new ways to increase productivity, adapt to new technologies and retain talents. This project aims at assessing the causal impact of flexible work on socio-economic outcomes.
We design a randomized experiment on a sample of workers in a large Italian company, and introduce smart-working for 9 months for a randomly selected group of workers in the sample. By comparing the two groups of workers - those subject to smart-working and the others - before and after the introduction of smart-working, we find causal evidence that the introduction of smart-working increases productivity of workers and their well-being.
To assess the effective success of the introduction of flexibility, we administered 2 questionnaires: one before the introduction of the policy, and one immediately after the end of the trial policy. In these questionnaires, after questions on general socio-demographic variables, we have asked questions about several dimensions: productivity at work, flexibility, individual well-being, individuals’ work-life balance and commitment towards the company.
Angelici, Marta and Paola Profeta. 2018. "Smart-working." AEA RCT Registry. May 15.
Sponsors & Partners
We introduce for workers in the treated group the possibility to work at flexible place and time one day per week during the experiment
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
The productivity outcome is very hard to measure, as it emerged from the literature review. On the basis of the academic and best practice literature, we have decided to measure it through self-reporting. However, in order to obtain a more objective measure of we will also ask workers’ supervisors to report on this matter. Finally we have asked to the firm to measure productivity also with objective indicators. For the others outcome we consider the single answers to the questionnaires pre/post policy and a grouped occurrence of them.
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Randomized experiment on a target population of workers of a large multi-utility company
Experimental Design Details
Stratified randomization, computer assisted. The randomization has been done by randomly extracting within each strata, with the "sample" function in R, the designated percentage of subjects to be assigned to the treatment. We have considered 8 strata: Gender, 2 age classes, 2 different kind of jobs. The assignment to the treatment is totally random, with equal probability of 65% within the strata.
The unit of randomization is the worker, and the groups are the 8 strata expressly created
Was the treatment clustered?
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
200 workers treated with smart-working, 110 control
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Supporting Documents and Materials
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
Bocconi Ethical Commitee
IRB Approval Date
Details not available
IRB Approval Number
Details not available
Post Trial Information
Is the intervention completed?
Is data collection complete?
Is public data available?
Reports and Papers