Survey Design for Sensitive Information in Organizations

Last registered on July 05, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

Survey Design for Sensitive Information in Organizations
Initial registration date
February 25, 2021

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
February 25, 2021, 8:50 AM EST

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Last updated
July 05, 2023, 5:24 AM EDT

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.



Primary Investigator

Ben Gurion University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Columbia Business School
PI Affiliation
Princeton University
PI Affiliation
Washington University

Additional Trial Information

Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
This research studies how survey design affects transmission of sensitive information within organizations. We conduct a phone-based survey experiment with workers at two garment factories in Bangladesh to study how survey design affects their willingness to report misbehavior by managers, including threats, physical harassment, and sexual harassment. We experimentally vary whether the survey elicitation method provides plausible deniability when asking sensitive questions. In particular, building on Chassang and Padró i Miquel (2018) and Chassang and Zehnder (2019), we use hard garbling to provide plausible deniability by exogenously distorting survey responses. We also experimentally vary the extent to which the survey enumerator builds rapport with the surveyed individual and the level of identifiability of a surveyed worker.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Boudreau, Laura et al. 2023. "Survey Design for Sensitive Information in Organizations." AEA RCT Registry. July 05.
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
The key outcome variables are threats, physical harassment and sexual harassment (including gender-based violence) from direct supervisor.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Additionally, as secondary outcome, if we find that one or more of our experimental methods increases reporting, we will study how increased reporting affects workers’ well-being in the short run.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We experimentally vary direct elicitation and a hard garbling design to ask sensitive questions on management misbehavior, as well as the extent to which the enumerator builds rapport or trust with the surveyed individual, and the level of identifiability of a surveyed worker through demographic questions.

In the survey, we also elicit workers’ primary deterrents to reporting, and use demographic and other less sensitive survey measures to predict their probability of being victimized.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
The randomization is done by a computer.
Randomization Unit
The unit of randomization is a worker, stratified by factory-production team and sex.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Not applicable.
Sample size: planned number of observations
Approximately 2,620 workers.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
We cross-randomize different treatment conditions and the sample size varies from 220 to 440 workers per treatment condition (see pre-analysis plan for details).
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of Washington
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
IRB Name
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
IRB Name
Columbia University
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

Analysis Plan Documents

Pre-Analysis Plan: Survey Design for Sensitive Information in Organizations

MD5: 7c2089e7173aa557ff00e060688e2820

SHA1: 92413f9d4752813e1ab1ce64387393cbccabf412

Uploaded At: September 17, 2021


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials