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Worker Heterogeneity and Firm Productivity
Initial registration date
June 07, 2019
June 23, 2020 2:36 AM EDT
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University of British Columbia
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
This project will be a Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) aimed at studying the impact of worker heterogeneity on team production in a production plant in India. The plant employs over 900 workers. This study will experimentally vary exposure of workers to non-coreligionists, in order to study whether greater contact at the workplace can affect attitudes and in turn impact productivity. We will complement high frequency production data from the firm with a range of baseline and endline survey measures of out-group preferences and perceptions to answer this question.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes (end points)
- High frequency daily team level output data obtained from the firm.
- Different measures of implicit and explicit out-group perceptions and prejudice across treatment arms
- Workers will participate in lab-in-the-field experiments at endline in order to understand mechanisms that result in productivity differences in religiously mixed and homogeneous teams
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
- Production Data will be obtained directly from the firm which is recorded daily at the firm. Such data are recorded primarily at the line level and not at the section level. Production data for some sections are available which will be used. In addition, during the course of the intervention, production supervisors will record their own assessment of each section's performance daily.
- Measures of out-group perception and prejudice constructed using survey data in order to analyze whether contact with individuals from other religious groups affect preferences and how these effects vary across sections that require high and low dependency amongst workers
- There will be direct measures of social distance, for example survey questions on cross-religion communication at workplace and preferences towards having non-coreligionist supervisors
- An Implicit Association Test (IAT) where workers associate identifiable Hindu and Muslims names with positions in the hierarchy at the firm to understand whether workers have bias towards their own religious group occupying higher positions. These outcomes will be compared across treatment arms at baseline and endline. UPDATE: The intervention was successfully completed before covid-19 lockdown restrictions were imposed in India, late in March 2020. Production data has been collected from the firm. Only a phone survey could be conducted thereafter due to the restrictions in place. A detailed endline survey with Implicit Association Tests (IATs) and lab games could not therefore be conducted. The trial end date is therefore extended to next year so that if conditions permit, these can be conducted later.
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
- Political preferences (political affiliation, preference over bills)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
The experiment involves randomizing workers in the firm into religiously mixed and homogeneous teams and tracking productivity. Team production will be studied over a period of 4-5 months after the intervention. The hypothesis we want to test through this intervention is whether greater contact with non-co-coreligionists affects perception, prejudice and productivity. Understanding heterogeneity in these effects with respect to the production technology is an important objective of this study. Production data will be complemented with baseline and endline survey data to understand mechanisms driving productivity differences across groups.
Experimental Design Details
Done through STATA on a computer.
Was the treatment clustered?
Sample size: planned number of clusters
16-18 production-line teams
100-110 production line-section teams
Sample size: planned number of observations
Approximately 600 firm workers.
Daily production data from 6 production lines for approximately 5 months - 1500 shifts of production data
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
750 shifts of production data for each of the two different treatment groups
Workers in high or low dependency sections will be randomized either into mixed or non-mixed teams. Approximate number of workers in each type of section:
Low Dependency-Non-Mixed : 100
Low Dependency- Mixed : 105
High Dependency-Non-Mixed : 190
High Dependency-Mixed : 150
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number