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Job-market signalling with body mass: a field experiment in Uganda
Last registered on November 06, 2019

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Job-market signalling with body mass: a field experiment in Uganda
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0004989
Initial registration date
November 05, 2019
Last updated
November 06, 2019 9:04 AM EST
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2019-11-06
End date
2020-02-01
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Appearance matters in job-market outcomes (Mobius, 2006). Moreover, in low-income countries, overweight is associated with wealth, and perceived higher productivity. In this project, we investigate if individuals prefer to show a manipulated, higher body mass picture on their LinkedIn profile in the context of a LinkedIn workshop at the Makerere university in Kampala. We follow up with the participants to check if a month later the chosen picture is still their profile picture.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Macchi, Elisa. 2019. "Job-market signalling with body mass: a field experiment in Uganda." AEA RCT Registry. November 06. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.4989-1.0.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2019-11-06
Intervention End Date
2020-02-01
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Picture choice
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Probability of choosing the high body mass picture relative to the low body mass picture.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
LinkedIn use; Willingness to Pay for the high body mass picture
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Self reported LinkedIn use;

Willingness to pay elicited with BDM
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
We set up a LinkedIn workshop. In the first day of the workshop, participants take part to a networking event and have their pictures taken. Between day 1 and day 2, pictures are photo-morphed: for each picture, a low-body mass version and a high-body mass version are created. During the workshop day, participants receive information on LinkedIn best practices and update their profiles. At the end of the workshop, participants respond to an evaluation survey where they state their willingness to pay.

2/3rd of the participants receive 3 pictures (high-low-original), 1/3rd receives only 2 pictures (high-low).
Experimental Design Details
The experiment will monitor 2 values: 1) the ratio between the sample probability of selecting a high body mass picture vs the sample probability of selecting a low body mass picture. 2) the willingness to pay for a high body mass picture vs low body mass picture.
Randomization Method
Computer
Randomization Unit
Individual level
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
160 individuals are invited to the workshop. We do not expect full take up.
Sample size: planned number of observations
160
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
1/3rd of the actual participants are in the 2-pictures arm; 2/3rd are in the 3-pictures arm.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Not an RCT
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
MUREC
IRB Approval Date
2019-10-22
IRB Approval Number
0509-2019
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials
Relevant Paper(s)
REPORTS & OTHER MATERIALS