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Are working women penalized in the marriage market in India?
Initial registration date
June 14, 2020
June 15, 2020 11:40 AM EDT
University of Oxford
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
This study aims to use an online experiment on an Indian matrimonial website to assess the prevalence, and extent, of discrimination against working, career and higher-income earning women in the marriage market in India. The experiment will help gauge the impact of women's work, especially their desire to work after marriage and their relative income on potential marriage market outcomes, in terms of the responsiveness and interest from male suitors.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes (end points)
The main outcome I will look at is interest from male suitors, measured by the response from male suitors in the sample to invites from the female profiles from the treatment.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary outcomes will include response times and the number of messages sent from the eligible suitors. If possible, I will also measure the overall number of profile visits, invites and messages to the profiles from outside of the sample of eligible suitors.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
The study builds on methods used in previous correspondence experiments, and will be run on the matrimonial website Shaadi.com, where multiple profiles of women will be generated for different common castes/sub-castes which will be alike in all ways, except in the work and income categories. The profiles will be varied to specify whether they work or not, how much they earn (high income or low income) and whether they intend to keep working after marriage.
The profiles will be varied as follows: 1) Treatment Group 0 – Non-working woman profile 2) Treatment group 1 – Working woman with the same profile as above, but an income that is greater than the man’s income (Rs 7-10 lakhs), with a stated preference for continuing work after marriage
3) Treatment group 2 – Working woman with the same profile, but an income that is lower than the man’s income (2-4 lakhs), with a stated preference for continuing work after marriage
4) Treatment group 3 – Working woman with the same profile, but an income that is greater than the man’s income (Rs 7-10 lakhs), with a stated preference of leaving work after marriage
5) Treatment group 4 - Working woman with the same profile, but an income that is lower than the man’s income (2-4 lakhs), with a stated preference of leaving work after marriage
3500 eligible male suitors whose reported income is between Rs 4-7 lakhs on the website will randomly be allocated to receive expressions of interest (invites) from one of the female profiles of the same caste. The study will measure how men’s interest differs across treatment arms i.e. by work status, income category and intention to continue working. Based on men’s interest (measured by response rate to invites, messages and other profile visits), the study will identify if there is a penalty for being a career woman or a high-income earner in the Indian marriage market.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization on a computer
Was the treatment clustered?
Sample size: planned number of clusters
3500 male suitors
Sample size: planned number of observations
3500 male suitors
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
700 per treatment arm
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
Blavatnik School of Government’s Departmental Research Ethics Committee
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number