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Does the Role Model Encourage Female Labor Force Participation? Field Experiment in Bangladesh
Initial registration date
November 20, 2019
November 20, 2019 2:52 PM EST
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Institute of Developing Economies
Other Primary Investigator(s)
University of Kent
Florida International University
Additional Trial Information
Enhancing female labor force participation is considered key to economic growth, poverty alleviation, and women’s empowerment. Despite its importance both at the national and household/individual levels, the female labor force participation rate remains low in South Asian countries. It has been a great interest for researchers and policy makers how to enhance female labor force participation in these countries. We investigate whether providing unmarried young women and their parents with information about working conditions through the role model working women encourages unmarried young women’s labor force participation in rural Bangladesh, and if so, how. For this objective, we conduct the randomized controlled trial.
Makino, Momoe, Abu Shonchoy and Zaki Wahhaj. 2019. "Does the Role Model Encourage Female Labor Force Participation? Field Experiment in Bangladesh." AEA RCT Registry. November 20.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Motivational session take-up, Voucher take-up, Physical approach to the formal vocational center to enroll at the program, Take-up (enrollment) of the vocational training, Vocational training program completion/discontinuation/drop-out, Work for payment, Migration
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
The objective of the experiment is to encourage young unmarried girls aged 15-29 to participate in labor force by introducing them to the role model women. Eligible girls (or with parents) are offered the opportunity to receive an interactive motivational information session given by the role model women who belong to the same community (e.g., the same socioeconomic background within the upazila) as the eligible girls. We hire two role model women for each session: i) women who are currently working in the garment factory, and ii) self-employed women as a tailor. Among the two treatment villages, the enrollment fee at the formal training program is fully paid if the eligible girl wins the lottery (computer-based randomization). The probability of winning the lottery is either 75% or 25% at the village level.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization done in office by a computer
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
50 villages control, 50 villages girl only role model session, 50 villages girl and parents role model session
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Assume that when the reservation wage is below the offered wage, the girl joins the labor force, and the offered wage distribution is the same as the current wage distribution, i.e., according to the pilot survey, the mean is BDT 5,250, and the standard deviation is BDT 2,693. Further assume that reservation wage distribution is equal to the current wage distribution minus one standard deviation. To maintain the 90% statistical power, the minimum sample size is 1,304.
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number