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Testing for Reciprocity of Work Flexibility
Last registered on July 19, 2019

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Testing for Reciprocity of Work Flexibility
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0004279
Initial registration date
July 17, 2019
Last updated
July 19, 2019 11:54 AM EDT
Location(s)

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Request Information
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
National Taiwan University
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
National Taiwan University
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2019-07-22
End date
2020-01-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
We plan to conduct an online field experiment exploring whether workers value and reciprocate work flexibility on an online platform. In our study, the additional flexibility takes the form of an extended deadline, allowing the online workers to have additional time to complete the job task. Although recent research has found that some subjects do value work flexibility, the average willingness-to-pay for the work flexibility may be quite low, with most of the gains coming from the tails of the distribution (Mas and Pallais 2017). However, even if this is true, it may still be in the employer's best interest to offer additional flexibility if workers are willing to reciprocate the gift of additional flexibility by working harder, akin to Kube et al. (2012). In addition, this experiment allows us to gather further information on potential differential preferences for males and females regarding time flexibility and higher wages (Goldin 2014).
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
DeJarnette, Patrick and Charles Po-Cheng Huang. 2019. "Testing for Reciprocity of Work Flexibility." AEA RCT Registry. July 19. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.4279-1.0.
Former Citation
DeJarnette, Patrick and Charles Po-Cheng Huang. 2019. "Testing for Reciprocity of Work Flexibility." AEA RCT Registry. July 19. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/4279/history/50372.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
We run this experiment on a large online platform, and as a result, we would like to ask for researchers to wait until completion date to see the full experimental design (currently hidden) or contact the authors individually, in case the online workers visit AEA RCT Registry.
Intervention Start Date
2019-07-22
Intervention End Date
2020-01-31
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
As the duration of work (3 hours) is fixed, the primary outcome of interest is the number of characters correctly entered in that 3 hour time period.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Workers are paid a flat hourly wage and work for a fixed duration of hours, so the number of characters entered is the primary measure of how much effort they put into the task.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
A. Additional (unpaid) time spent and characters entered. B. Number and duration of breaks
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Although the 3 hours is the most they are getting paid for on Upwork, some workers may put in "extra" time due to their strong feelings of reciprocity. Likewise, although all workers work for 3 hours on Upwork, some may take extended breaks, which might be viewed as an alternative measure of (negative) reciprocity.
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
We run this experiment on a large online platform, and as a result, we would like to ask for researchers to wait until completion date to see the full experimental design (currently hidden) or contact the authors individually, in case the online workers visit AEA RCT Registry.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done in advance with a computer using the sample pool spreadsheet.
Randomization Unit
Individual worker
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
270 Workers

Details:
We use the criteria setting from Upwork. We collect those workers who are in the Philippines because Mas and Pallais (2014) found that the Philippines are common on this website, and the time zone between Taiwan and the Philippines are close (0~2 hours difference).

The "Earned Amount" is set as $1 earned; the "Job Success" is set as 80% & up; the "Hourly Rate" is set as $10 and below; the "Hours billed" is set as any hours.

We choose the "Category" as Data Entry; "English level" is fluent; "Talent Type" is freelancers since we don't want them to coordinate and communicate about this job. Finally, The "Last Activity" is set as within 2 weeks.

Under these criteria, we collect 4809 workers. However, some workers appear more than once, so we drop those additional observations. The actual workers become 4048.

We drop those whose posting wage is higher than 6.5 and lower than 4.5, then this gives us 1448 subjects. These 1448 workers serve as our sample pool, as we will randomly assign them to one treatment
Sample size: planned number of observations
270 Observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
270 subjects in total. According to (List, Sadoff, Wagner 2010) to maximize power for comparisons of interest:

75 subjects in baseline,
30 subjects for 3 day treatment,
45 subjects for 5 day treatment,
45 subjects for 6.5 dollar treatment,
30 subjects for 8 dollar treatment,
45 subjects for Choice between treatments
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Research Ethics Office
IRB Approval Date
2018-11-20
IRB Approval Number
201810HS026