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Domestic Violence and Women’s Decision Making
Last registered on July 20, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Domestic Violence and Women’s Decision Making
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0006165
Initial registration date
July 20, 2020
Last updated
July 20, 2020 11:35 AM EDT
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Royal Holloway University of London
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
World Bank Gender Innovation Lab
PI Affiliation
Utrecht University
PI Affiliation
Utrecht University
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2019-07-01
End date
2020-12-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
This project puts forward and tests the hypothesis that domestic violence (DV) negatively impacts women’s economic decision-making. We investigate this using a “lab-in-the-field" experiment with a sample of women across urban and semi-urban settings in Ethiopia, where reported DV prevalence is high. Respondents in the treatment group are primed to think about episodes of DV they may have experienced, using a well-established survey instrument. In the control arms, respondents are primed to think about poverty, or about positive experiences. The participants then perform incentivized computer-based tasks to elicit cognitive function, risk and time preferences; as well as unincentivized altruism, self-efficacy, and beliefs about employment-related outcomes.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Anderberg, Dan et al. 2020. "Domestic Violence and Women’s Decision Making." AEA RCT Registry. July 20. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.6165-1.0.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Our intervention consists of three randomly-assigned treatment primes in a “lab-in-the-field” experiment. The primes take place after respondents answer a survey, but before they participate in activities to measure cognitive function, risk and time preferences, beliefs about employment, altruism and self-efficacy. In the first treatment arm, respondents are primed to think about episodes of domestic violence they may have experienced, using a well-established survey instrument (based on the DHS and WHO instruments). In the second treatment arm, participants are primed about stressful financial decisions (similar to Mani et al., 2013). In the final treatment arm, participants are primed with discussing non-stressful events like fashion and festivals.
Intervention Start Date
2019-07-01
Intervention End Date
2019-07-21
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Risk preferences, time preferences, cognitive function
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Altruism, self-efficacy, beliefs about employment
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
The experiment was conducted in urban or semi-urban settings near factories that employ a large number of women in Ethiopia. Interviews were timed such that interviews in half of these communities took place in the ten days leading up to the factory’s pay-day, and interviews in the other half of these communities took place in the ten days just after the factory’s pay-day. This was done to generate potential (non-experimental) background variation in cash-on-hand and other household conditions related to pay-day.

A sampling frame was constructed from the communities surrounding ten factories, via snowball sampling starting with women who are currently employed in factories. Inclusion criteria were being female; currently cohabiting with a male partner, who is currently present in the household or has been away temporarily for less than three months; not being within 2 months before or 6 months after giving birth; and belonging to one of four employment groups: i) those who have never had a formal job or owned a business; ii) those who are currently working in factories, iii) those who have left factory employment and are not working formally or owning a business, and iv) those who have left factory employment and are now engaged in non-factory formal employment or running a business. We did not screen ex ante for experiences of DV. The sample of 400 women was randomly drawn from this sampling frame, stratified on whether her community was just before or after pay-day and on employment group.

To ensure confidentiality, participants were interviewed one-on-one at a location pre-arranged with the respondent where she would feel safe, by a female from a similar background. During the interview itself, respondents were assigned a number and neither their name, the name of their partner nor any contact details were elicited or recorded.

If the respondent consented, she was first asked to respond to a survey covering: personal characteristics; relationship and husband’s/partner’s characteristics; intra-household decision-making and household public goods; household assets and expenditure; time use; and labor supply. The pre-conducted computer randomization then determined whether the respondent was primed about: (1) domestic violence using a well-established survey instrument (based on the DHS and WHO instruments); (2) income and expenditures (similar to Mani et al., 2013); or (3) positive experiences such as fashion and festivals. We then elicited incentivized measures of risk preferences, time preferences and cognitive function, as well as unincentivized measures of beliefs about employment, altruism, and self-efficacy. At the end of all tasks, the respondent drew a ball from a bag to select which of the incentivized tasks would be used to determine her actual monetary payment (as well as the timing of payment, and exertion of real effort, if the time preference task was drawn). Finally, women in the treatment arms, who had not received the violence prime, were also asked about their experiences of DV, such that data on DV was collected from all participants.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Both selection into the sample, and treatment arm (prime) assignment were determined by a Stata-assigned random number prior to start of survey period. This randomization was stratified by 1) before/after pay-day condition and 2) four employment groups: i) those who have never had a formal job or owned a business, ii) those who are currently working in factories, iii) those who have left factory employment and are not working formally or owning a business, and iv) those who have left factory employment and are now engaged in non-factory formal employment or running a business.
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
400 individuals
Sample size: planned number of observations
400 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Prime 1: n=134
Prime 2: n=133
Prime 3: n=133
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Social Sciences and Humanities Interdivisional Research Ethics Committee (IDREC), University of Oxford
IRB Approval Date
2018-07-30
IRB Approval Number
R57949/RE001