Leadership and Organizational Structure in Trade Unions in Myanmar
Last registered on March 15, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Leadership and Organizational Structure in Trade Unions in Myanmar
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0005183
Initial registration date
December 19, 2019
Last updated
March 15, 2020 8:27 PM EDT
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Columbia University
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
London School of Economics
PI Affiliation
London School of Economics
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2019-12-08
End date
2020-05-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
First, we ask how leaders mobilize participation to solve collective action problems characterized by free-riding, such as labor or social movements. Second, we conduct an in-depth skill assessment of approximately 1500 garment workers in Myanmar to assess the distribution of skills at the sector level. These objectives are connected because we conduct this research in the run-up to a minimum wage revision due to happen in May 2020. Within this context, we collaborate with a national umbrella organization for labor unions in Myanmar, the Confederation of Trade Unions Myanmar (CTUM). In collaboration with the CTUM, we implement two surveys: one on union membership, leadership and skill assessment and one on living costs. We liaise with 28 unions at the factory-level that are affiliated with the CTUM. To ensure sample representativeness, we randomly sample workers inside the factories, stratifying on factory, union membership, and skill level. We exploit the minimum wage momentum to embed multiple experiments among the set of CTUM’s activities dedicated to raise workers’ awareness and elicit workers’ views on the minimum wage level. We experimentally vary different treatment conditions to understand in what ways leaders may be effective in solving collective action problems.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Boudreau, Laura, Rocco Macchiavello and Virginia Minni. 2020. "Leadership and Organizational Structure in Trade Unions in Myanmar." AEA RCT Registry. March 15. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.5183-1.1.
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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
We conduct experiments with two groups: (1) union leaders; and (2) workers in unionized factories (both union members and non-members). With group (1), we conduct a mobilization and a real effort experiment where union presidents invite union leaders to mobilize workers to come on Sundays to participate in the CTUM’s research activities. We also conduct a “leading by example” experiment where union leaders receive an extra sum of money and then are asked to donate to CTUM-related public good under different conditions of observability by workers. With group (2), we conduct a discussion experiment where we experimentally manipulate the presence of union leaders to facilitate small group discussions on the preferred and expected minimum wage revision among diverse workers; a public good game where workers receive an extra sum of money and they are asked to donate to CTUM-related public good under different signals of union leaders’ contributions; and a “mobilization and coordination” experiment in which union line leaders motivate and/or coordinate members of small groups of workers to participate in a living cost survey. Note: At time of registration, due to possible time constraints, there is uncertainty whether the “mobilization and coordination” experiment will be implemented. This protocol will be updated as soon as possible to reflect the whether it remains part of the study.
Intervention Start Date
2019-12-15
Intervention End Date
2020-05-31
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
We conduct experiments with two groups: (1) union leaders; and (2) workers in unionized factories (both union members and non-members). We study three key outcome variables for group (1): Number of workers recruited to participate in Session 2; number of posters prepared in Session 1; and amount of additional payment donated to CTUM public good. We study four key outcome variables for group (2): Expectations regarding the 2020 minimum wage adjustment; preferences regarding the 2020 minimum wage adjustment; participation in the living cost survey; amount of additional payment donated to CTUM public good. Note: At time of registration, due to possible time constraints, there is uncertainty whether the “mobilization and coordination” experiment will be implemented. This protocol will be updated as soon as possible to reflect the whether it remains part of the study.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Leveraging on CTUM’s network, we liaise with 28 unions at the factory-level that are affiliated with the CTUM. This sample consists of most of the garment sector factories affiliated with CTUM in the Yangon and Bago Regions of Myanmar. Each union participates in data collection sessions over the course of two sessions held across two weekends. In Session 1, the union’s president and its leadership team, “line leaders” (LLs) are invited to participate. In order to select LLs to participate, we randomly select sewing lines where LLs work to participate in the study. To randomly select sewing lines, we stratify lines by quartiles of proportion of workers unionized. In factories with low (<20%) or high (>80%) unionization rates, we oversample from the underrepresented group of workers (union members or nonmembers, respectively).

In Session 1, union leaders take a survey, and we conduct two experiments. We conduct a mobilization and a real effort experiment where union presidents invite LLs to mobilize workers to come on Sundays to participate in the CTUM’s research activities. We also conduct a “leading by example” experiment where union leaders receive an extra sum of money and then are asked to donate to CTUM-related public good under different conditions of observability by workers. We stratify LLs’ assignment to these experiments by their union.

In addition, to ensure sample representativeness, we randomly sample workers inside the factories, stratifying on factory, sewing line, union membership, and skill level. LLs are responsible to invite those workers on their line who are randomly selected to participate.

In Session 2, we implement two surveys: one on union membership, leadership and skill assessment and one on living costs. We leverage this data collection to embed experiments among the set of CTUM’s activities dedicated to raise workers’ awareness and elicit workers’ views on the minimum wage level: (1) a discussion experiment where we experimentally manipulate the presence of LLs to facilitate small group discussions on the preferred and expected minimum wage revision among diverse workers; (2) a public good game where workers receive an extra sum of money and they are asked to donate to CTUM-related public good under different signals of union leaders’ contributions; and (3) a “mobilization and coordination” experiment in which union line leaders motivate and/or coordinate members of small groups of workers to participate in the living cost survey. Note: At time of registration, due to possible time constraints, there is uncertainty whether the “mobilization and coordination” experiment will be implemented. This protocol will be updated as soon as possible to reflect the whether it remains part of the study.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
For Session 1, we randomly select sewing lines where LLs work to participate in the study. To randomly select sewing lines, we stratify lines by quartiles of proportion of workers unionized. In factories with low (<20%) or high (>80%) unionization rates, we oversample from the underrepresented group of workers (union members or nonmembers, respectively). The randomization is done in office by a computer.

At Session 1, we stratify by factory and randomly assign LLs to different experimental conditions. This randomization is done in the field during Session 1 by computer.

For Session 2, we randomly select workers after stratifying on factory, sewing line, union membership, and skill level. This randomization is done in the field during Session 1 by computer. LLs are responsible to invite those workers on their line who are randomly selected to participate.

At Session 2, we stratify by factory and union membership status and randomly assign workers to different experimental conditions. This randomization is done in the field during Session 2 by computer.
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Not applicable.
Sample size: planned number of observations
Expected numbers (actual will vary): 1792 workers; 308 line leaders (or “EC Members” depending on union); 28 presidents.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Line leaders:
Mobilization and leading by example experiment: 77 per treatment arm (2x2 design, can pool observations)
Public good experiment: 103 per treatment arm

Workers:
Group discussion experiment: 597 per treatment arm
Public good contribution experiment: 448 per treatment arm
Mobilization and coordination experiment: 299 per treatment arm (2x3 design, can pool observations)
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Hitotsubashi University Research Ethics Screening
IRB Approval Date
2019-12-05
IRB Approval Number
2019C011
IRB Name
London School of Economics Research Ethics Committee
IRB Approval Date
2019-10-31
IRB Approval Number
To be added.