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Valuing the Time of the Self-Employed

Last registered on April 22, 2019


Trial Information

General Information

Wages and the Value of Time in Rural Labor Markets
Initial registration date
April 18, 2019

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
April 22, 2019, 12:05 PM EDT

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



Primary Investigator

University of Rochester

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of California Berkeley
PI Affiliation
New York University
PI Affiliation
California Institute of Technology
PI Affiliation
Stanford University

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
The value of non-work time is a key parameter in many macroeconomic models and welfare impact estimates. In low-income countries, particularly in rural areas, concerns that labor market frictions prevent markets from clearing imply that a sizable wedge may exist between a worker's marginal value of non-work time (MVT) and her wage. We measure the marginal value of time, the reservation wage, and the market wage for a sample of farming households in Kenya by eliciting incentive-compatible bids for lottery tickets and offering casual day work. We distinguish between gaps arising from characteristics of the market for labor (e.g., labor rationing) and those arising from characteristics of labor suppliers (e.g., norms restrictions).
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Agness, Daniel et al. 2019. "Wages and the Value of Time in Rural Labor Markets." AEA RCT Registry. April 22.
Former Citation
Agness, Daniel et al. 2019. "Wages and the Value of Time in Rural Labor Markets." AEA RCT Registry. April 22.
Experimental Details


We offer lottery tickets for an irrigation pump to farming households in both cash and hours of work. Bids are elicited through the Becker-DeGroot-Marschak method. We measure households' reservation wage by offering day work through the same method.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Respondents' marginal value of time, reservation wage, and predicted market wage.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Marginal value of time is measured as the ratio of the cash bid to the hours of work bid.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Emotional responses of shame, anger, and pride relating to accepting and offering low wages.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Measured as self-reported emotional response to vignettes related to accepting and offering low wages.

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We will locate 20-30 clusters of suitable farms (what we call "villages", with typically 12-25 suitable farms) with easy access to water. Within these villages we offer lottery tickets to a random sample of households. Bids are elicited in both cash and hours of work. We also offer day work to each household. Willingness to pay or work for the ticket, and reservation wage for the day work, are elicited through the Becker-DeGroot-Marschak method. Bid denomination (cash or hours of work)
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer.
Randomization Unit
Village to treatment arm, and individual to price.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
20-30 villages
Sample size: planned number of observations
300-500 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
3 Treatment arms: 1) Cash payments, 2) Task payments, 3) Cash payments + day work
Exact sample sizes to be determined once some pilot data has been collected and power calculations can be done.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Innovations for Poverty Action Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

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