Immigration Reform & Shortages, The effet of randomized bonus scheme on worker productivity

Last registered on September 30, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Immigration Reform & Shortages, The effet of randomized bonus scheme on worker productivity
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0006532
Initial registration date
September 30, 2020
Last updated
September 30, 2020, 10:23 AM EDT

Locations

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
California Polytechnic State U

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
ASU
PI Affiliation
California Polytechnic Stat U
PI Affiliation
California Polytechnic Stat U

Additional Trial Information

Status
On going
Start date
2020-09-17
End date
2021-09-17
Secondary IDs
USDA NIFA 2019-67023-29415
Abstract
In much of the United States there are increasing concerns over the availability of agricultural labor. In 2017, 68% of US based agricultural laborers were from Mexico, and in California alone, 89\% were from Mexico, while only 9\% were U.S. born. Many of these workers are now transitioning away farm labor either because of retirement, or they are moving to other labor markets (e.g. construction). In addition, there are few replacements for these workers. This study aims to estimate the casual estimates of worker productivity in response to bonus changes. We randomize the sequence of bonus payments assigned to each crew and worker for the duration of five weeks in order to estimate a) the productivity response to said bonuses and b) the peer worker effects of bonuses within each crew. This will enable us to test the resposivness of farm workers to changes in bonus pay size and time.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Hamilton, Steve et al. 2020. "Immigration Reform & Shortages, The effet of randomized bonus scheme on worker productivity." AEA RCT Registry. September 30. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.6532-1.0
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
There is a clear need for understanding how farm producers can both retain their workers, particularly the most productive, and incentivize them to work efficiently during the months and hours that are most crucial to production. This project explores ways to achieve these objectives through focused targeting of bonus pay (and increase in the payment per box collected).
Intervention Start Date
2020-09-17
Intervention End Date
2020-10-29

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Farm work productivity - number boxes collected per hour.
Farm engagement - namely, whether a employee stays with the firm.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
All workers at the farm will be tracked regardless of participation. We anticipate that about 50% of the 400 workers will be interested in participating. There is a between and within component to the study design. Non-participating workers will serve as a "crude" control (crude, because there is selection bias in participation). Participating workers in every crew will be: a) randomly assigned to one of two groups (a) or (b). Each group will be randomly assigned bonuses each day that vary in time and size. The study will continue for 5 weeks. Since each participating worker will receive all sizes and times of bonuses, this aspect is a within treatment, which is important for power calculations.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by computer.
Randomization Unit
Unit of randomizaiton - crew/groups.
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
13 crews, 2 groups per crew = 26 groups.
Sample size: planned number of observations
200 participating workers, and 200 non-participating workers (whose data will still be collected).
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Approximately 15 workers per crew.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
The unti is boxes collected per hour. Mean = 4.4, SD = 3.3. This is a within study design with 13 clusters and approximately 10-20 individuals per cluster. We assume an intra-cluster correlation of 0.05 and a correlation across outcomes within a subject of 0.25. The following command in Stata will give us the necessary sample size to detect a one box/hour change in productivity. Since this is a within-study, the number of observations per treatment arm is the total necessary number of observations needed in the study, which is 143. clustersampsi, samplesize mu1(4.4) mu2(5.4) sd1(3) m(13) rho(0.05) base_correl(.25) The minimum detectable effect size is 0.74 boxes/hour.
Supporting Documents and Materials

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IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Cal Poly Institutional Review Board (IRB)
IRB Approval Date
2020-07-09
IRB Approval Number
2019-118
Analysis Plan

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Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
No
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