Affirmative action and women participation to the job market

Last registered on October 15, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Affirmative action and women participation to the job market
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0008284
Initial registration date
October 13, 2021
Last updated
October 15, 2021, 3:47 PM EDT

Locations

Region
Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Joint Research Centre of the European Commission

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Joint Research Centre of the European Commission
PI Affiliation
Joint Research Centre of the European Commission

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2021-10-18
End date
2021-10-29
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
Women are largely under-represented in leadership positions within organizations. In the European Union, it is estimated that only 19% of executives are women. Women’s low representation in leadership positions is in part influenced by social and cultural factors, such as gender discrimination, but also due to behavioural factors. There is evidence that shows that women are more averse to competition and risk and are less confident about their competences than their male counterparts. These factors further contribute to their under-representation in higher positions.
Several affirmative action measures have been identified to improve women’s ability to access opportunities, such as gender quotas, gender-specific training and preferential treatment. Among these measures, equal employment opportunity (EEO) claims in job ads are softer interventions that aim to encourage women to apply to the advertised positions.
The current study aims to test the effectiveness of equal employment opportunity claims in encouraging women to apply to demanding positions.
Our outcome measures are: 1) whether EEO claims effectively encourage women to apply to leadership positions and 2) whether EEO claims affect women’s preferred leadership style when they are leaders.
There is evidence that suggests that the values that leaders are expected to have are more closely associated with those that are more generally held by men.
The experiment is conducted online through a survey environment. There are no particular ethical issues related to this study, however ethical approval has been obtained (Joint Research Centre Ethics Review Board Ares(2021)6206758).
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Baggio, Marianna, Ginevra Marandola and Hannah Nohlen. 2021. "Affirmative action and women participation to the job market." AEA RCT Registry. October 15. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.8284-1.0
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Throughout this survey experiment participants will be randomly assigned to four different treatment conditions.
Treatment condition 1 (control group): the job vacancies presented to participants will not include equal employment opportunity (EEO) claims.
Treatment condition 2: Both job vacancies presented to participants will include EEO claims.
Treatment condition 3 and 4 : Only one of the job vacancies presented to participants will include EEO claims. This is either the lower paying job or the higher paying job.
Intervention Start Date
2021-10-18
Intervention End Date
2021-10-29

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
1) job choice, between a high paying/high requirement job and a low paying/low requirements job
2) management style statement, between two gendered statements
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
The main outcomes will be dichotomous variables (choice between low paying/low requirements and high paying/high requirements job, choice between 2 managerial statement)
We will compare proportions of women choosing each job/statement across treatments
We will compare proportions of men choosing each job/statement across treatments
We will compare proportion of participants choosing each job/statement by gender

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
survey questions to
1)understand reason behind choice of job
2)measure attention and reaction to the EEO
3)measure beliefs on frequency of men and women choosing each management style statement
4)beliefs on how the EEOs influence hiring choices in the experiment
5)general attitude towards the EEO
6)beliefs on HR gender
-risk aversion
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
1) ranking of different reasons
2) categorical variable 0 not notice 1 notice but no influence 2 influence, categorical variables for likert scales
3) guess if more women or men, incentivized. categorical 0 more men 1 more women 2 same
4) and 5) likert scales or dummies
6) dummy 0 man, I don't know 1 woman; dummy 1 man, 0 woman and I don't know

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The study will include only participants that are over 18. We will not include minors, as we are interested in the effects of EEO measures for working age individuals.

The study will consist of an online survey experiment.
The survey will consist of a hypothetical scenario. Participants will first be assigned to the role of an “Experienced Manager” who is looking for a job. During the survey they will be asked to undertake three tasks.
1) Participants will first have to select one of two profiles. These profiles include information about years of working experience and academic qualifications. The two profiles that are presented differ based on several characteristics, such as the name of the degree and university. Since profiles are hypothetical, we will ask participants to choose between two profiles to make them feel more attached to the one they choose.
2) Once the participants have chosen their profile, they will be presented with two hypothetical job vacancies (management positions). They fulfil the minimum requirements for both job vacancies. The vacancy for the higher paying job states that the ideal candidate
has higher qualifications than the qualifications of the profile chosen by participants. The vacancy for the lower paying job states that the ideal candidate has lower qualifications than the qualifications of the profile chosen by participants.
Participants will be asked to select one of the two job applications.
3) Participants will then be presented with two statements describing different management styles. One of which will allude to values that are more commonly associated to a male stereotype, while the other are more commonly associated with a female stereotype.
Participants will be asked to choose one of the two statement and informed that these will be reviewed by an HR executive.
The profile, the job vacancy and the statement describing the management style will represent the participant's job application. Once participants have completed their job application, they will be informed whether they got hired or not and the wage that they receive. Wages will be presented in tokens in the survey. However, they will be converted in euros once participants are compensated.
Throughout this survey experiment participants will be randomly assigned to four different treatment conditions.
Treatment condition 1 (control group): the job vacancies that will be presented to participants will not include EEO claims.
Treatment condition 2: The job vacancies that will be presented to participants will include EEO claims.
Treatment condition 3 and 4 : Only one of the job vacancies that will be presented to participants will include EEO claims.
The survey concludes by informing participants about the outcome of their application and the number of tokens they earned as a result of their decisions.
The outcome of their application was the result of the decision of real people in the role of HR executive, participating in a different antecedent small experiment (N=64). Each HR executive was presented with two job applications (described above), and had to decide which applicant to hire.





Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
The study will include a total of 3,800 participants. Recruitment will be conducted by a panel provider called Dynata (https://www.dynata.com/). Dynata screens their participants and ensures quality of responses. Dynata will recruit participants by sending them an email notifying them that they can take part in the survey, provide a broad description of the area in which the research is conducted, and references the compensation that the respondents would receive.
Treatments will be randomized using Qualtrics.
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
No clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
The study will include a total of 3,800 participants, 1900 per country.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
T0 -> control (550 per country)
T1-> AA statement on both jobs (450 per country)
T2-> AA statement on higher paying job (450 per country)
T3-> AA statement on lower paying job (450 per country)
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
The minimum detectable change in proportion choosing job for females is 0.13 The minimum detectable difference in proportion of men and women choosing job or managerial statement is 0.12
Supporting Documents and Materials

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IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
JRC REB
IRB Approval Date
2021-10-12
IRB Approval Number
Ares(2021)6206758
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