Survey Design for Sensitive Information in Organizations

Last registered on September 17, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Survey Design for Sensitive Information in Organizations
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0007103
Initial registration date
February 25, 2021
Last updated
September 17, 2021, 10:58 AM EDT

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Ben Gurion University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

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

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2021-09-09
End date
2021-11-15
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
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

Citation
Boudreau, Laura et al. 2021. "Survey Design for Sensitive Information in Organizations." AEA RCT Registry. September 17. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.7103-2.0
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2021-09-09
Intervention End Date
2021-11-15

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
Not available
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?
No

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)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of Washington
IRB Approval Date
2020-12-22
IRB Approval Number
STUDY00010219
IRB Name
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
IRB Approval Date
2021-02-17
IRB Approval Number
2001-1
IRB Name
Columbia University
IRB Approval Date
2021-02-23
IRB Approval Number
IRB-AAAT2938
Analysis Plan

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