The Impact of COVID-19 on the Lives of Women in the Garment Industry: Evidence from Ethiopia

Last registered on April 13, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
The Impact of COVID-19 on the Lives of Women in the Garment Industry: Evidence from Ethiopia
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0005750
Initial registration date
April 24, 2020
Last updated
April 13, 2021, 5:14 AM EDT

Locations

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Nuffield College and Department of Economics, University of Oxford

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
World Bank
PI Affiliation
Vassar College
PI Affiliation
NYU Abu Dhabi
PI Affiliation
NYU Abu Dhabi

Additional Trial Information

Status
Completed
Start date
2020-04-27
End date
2021-03-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
In this project, we conduct high-frequency phone surveys on a panel of women who work in garment factories in Ethiopia’s largest industrial park in the city of Hawassa to document how their lives are changing during the COVID-19 crisis. Sampling from an administrative database of all workers in the Hawassa Industrial Park, we aim to collect data on a representative sample of 5,000 workers. Respondents will be interviewed on a bi-weekly basis for a duration of six months. Studied outcomes include socioeconomic status, employment, mental and physical health, health behaviors, empowerment, trust, and economic preferences. We plan to investigate the economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis for this sample of women, and the interaction between health behaviors, trust in government, and economic preferences. We also hope to inform the government’s response and development partner programming by rapidly reporting key areas of vulnerability and their predictors.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Hardy, Morgan et al. 2021. "The Impact of COVID-19 on the Lives of Women in the Garment Industry: Evidence from Ethiopia." AEA RCT Registry. April 13. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.5750-2.0
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2020-04-27
Intervention End Date
2020-11-23

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Basic socioeconomic characteristics of workers, current and past employment, other economic activity, income, savings, physical and mental health, health behaviors, social networks, relationship status, marriage and fertility choices, aspirations, first- and second-order beliefs about COVID-19, trust in government, perceived needs in the community, and economic preferences.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Most outcomes listed above are measured by direct self-reporting. Wherever appropriate, questions are based on instruments from the Ethiopian Living Standards Measurement Survey (LSMS), the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS), and ongoing work by Hardy and Meyer in the same context. Economic preference questions are based on the Global Preference Survey instruments. Mental health measures are constructed using the Patient Health Questionnaire 2 and 8 (PHQ-2 and PHQ-8) scales.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
This study will be focused on measuring impacts of COVID-19 on a random sample of workers in Hawassa Industrial Park. We collect phone survey data on a representative sample of 5,000 garment workers in Hawassa Industrial Park in the south of Ethiopia. Respondents will be interviewed on a bi- weekly basis for a duration of six months. Collected data covers basic demographics, current and past employment, other economic activity, income, savings, physical and mental health, health behaviors, social networks, relationship status, marriage and fertility choices, aspirations, first- and second-order beliefs about COVID-19, trust in government, perceived needs in the community, and economic preferences.

Within the panel, we randomly vary survey modules and may vary questions within modules. Depending on information collected and development partner programming in the local context, we may build on this data collection effort with further experimentation.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
The PIs will use a computer to randomly draw a sample from the universe of all workers employed in Hawassa Industrial Park as recorded in administrative data.
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
We planning to survey approximately 5,000 workers currently employed in Hawassa Industrial Park. We are not currently planning to use a clustered design.
Sample size: planned number of observations
5,000 workers currently employed in Hawassa Industrial Park.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
We do not expect different treatment arms at this point.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of Oxford Central University Research Ethics Committee (CUREC)
IRB Approval Date
2020-04-08
IRB Approval Number
ECONCIA21-21-12

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
Yes
Intervention Completion Date
March 31, 2021, 12:00 +00:00
Data Collection Complete
Yes
Data Collection Completion Date
March 31, 2021, 12:00 +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?
No

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Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Abstract
In a globalized world, pandemics transmit impacts through markets. We document employment changes, coping strategies, and welfare of garment factory workers in Ethiopia’s largest industrial park during the early stages of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 pandemic. We field a phone survey of female workers during a two month period in which cases are rapidly rising globally, but not locally. Our data suggest significant changes in employment, high levels of migration away from urban areas to rural areas if women are no longer working, and high levels of food insecurity. These findings compel a research and policy focus on documenting and mitigating the market-reach of pandemics on low-income workers at the margins.
Citation
Meyer, C.J., Hardy, M., Witte, M., Kagy, G. and Demeke, E., 2021. The market-reach of pandemics: Evidence from female workers in Ethiopia’s ready-made garment industry. World Development, 137, p.105179.

Reports & Other Materials