From an experimental perspective, choosing Ghana, India and the Philippines allowed us to explore a variety of countries as measured by their Hofstede scores for individualism. According to Geert Hofstede’s measures of Individualism, Ghana scores a 15, near the bottom of the Hofstede measures for Individualism, while India scores a 48 in the middle of the field and the Philippines a 32. In the course of the experiment, we interact country-level individualism with the incentive contracts.
We ran two two-day contracts per week over the course of a year and a half, with an experimental duration of ten months, one year and nine months in Ghana, India and the Philippines, respectively. To avoid spillovers, all workers in a given two-day contract received the same contract (i.e. all workers in the office at a given time received flat wage or IPR). We provide these workers with a written contract to sign that laid out the contract terms. Following the brief orientation, we assigned workers to one of ten workstations and the on-site manager gave a fifteen-minute Power Point training. By using a Power Point presentation to train workers, we eliminated variations in training quality that could have occurred over the course of the experiment.
The data entry interfaces captured the total number of key strokes entered by workers over the course of the two-day contract. In addition, the data entry interface captured key timing variables, including the daily start time, end time and the number of seconds to complete one survey. At the end of the two-day contract, the on-site manager paid workers in cash. For workers under the flat wage contract, we did not carry out a salary calculation, and paid each worker a cash wage of 50 GHC, 500 INR or 900 PhP. For the five incentive contracts, the on-site manager collected all data entered by the workers and calculated their pay using based on the conditions of the workers’ assigned contracts. Workers received cash along with a receipt stating the number of key strokes entered and the calculation used to define their two-day wage.