Who Ya Gonna Call?: Investigating gender differences in demand for parental involvement

Last registered on April 28, 2021


Trial Information

General Information

Who Ya Gonna Call?: Investigating gender differences in demand for parental involvement
Initial registration date
April 27, 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
April 28, 2021, 10:30 AM EDT

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



Primary Investigator

Brigham Young University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Syracuse University
PI Affiliation
Tufts University

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
This study aims to investigate whether there are gender inequities in asking parents to engage in child-related activities. Furthermore, we study whether these inequalities vary by (1) signaling parents’ willingness and ability to do these tasks or (2) by the gender of the external decision-maker contacting the parent.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Buzard, Kristy, Laura Gee and Olga Stoddard. 2021. "Who Ya Gonna Call?: Investigating gender differences in demand for parental involvement." AEA RCT Registry. April 28. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.7610-1.0
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Our primary outcome variable is which parent (the mom or the dad) is contacted first.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Additional outcome variables include whether a principal contacted both parents and the order in which the parents were contacted.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We will send out email messages to a universe of school principals in the U.S. from a two-person heterosexual household. These messages will ask the principal to contact a parent about a general school-related inquiry and will provide two phone numbers - one for the husband and one for the wife. As part of the experiment, we will also randomly vary the content of our messages to include informational signals about which of the two parents is more available to chat discuss school-related queries. This will allow us to investigate the “motherhood effect” by comparing whether a mother is more likely to be called back first even when a father is described to be more available. Furthermore, we will test whether the size of the motherhood effect varies by the gender of the external decision-maker, that is the gender of the school principal.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization by computer
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
Approximately 100,000 subjects (school principals in the U.S.)
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Approximately 20,000 principals control, 20,000 principals dad positive signal treatment, 20,000 principals dad negative signal treatment, 20,000 principals mom positive signal treatment, 20,000 principals mom negative signal treatment.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Tufts University IRB
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


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