Female entrepreneurship and husbands’ support: women’s investment in male-dominated pineapple production in Benin

Last registered on January 26, 2022


Trial Information

General Information

Female entrepreneurship and husbands’ support: women’s investment in male-dominated pineapple production in Benin
Initial registration date
January 26, 2022

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
January 26, 2022, 3:42 PM EST

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


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Primary Investigator

University of Namur

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Pineapple is a dynamic value chain in Benin that attracts investments from various stakeholders. Small-scale farmers produce the majority of the crop and most of them are men. Although women play an important role in agriculture overall and often manage their own fields, few of them cultivate pineapple on their fields. They face several specific, gender-related constraints preventing their involvement in this productive activity, including liquidity constraints, problems with the planification of activities over the course of the 18 months production cycle, bookkeeping or competing demands on their time. Exploratory field work reveals that husbands’ support is a crucial determinant of women’s success in this activity. A husband may offer financial support or help in monitoring workers for example. This raises the following questions: Is this support offering a (second-best) substitute for access to financial market or training or is it rather a complement (or a necessary condition) for a woman’s investment in this productive activity? What are the costs of seeking one husband’s help for one’s own business? Why are some husbands reluctant in offering this support? May this support be stimulated by an exogenous intervention?

We investigate these questions taking advantage from an intervention set up by the Belgian Development Agency (Enabel) in order to encourage women involvement in pineapple production. It includes a business training and a generous subsidy for women to start or to expand a pineapple production. With a view to stimulate husbands’ support, in some groups, husbands have been invited to take part in the training and design, with their wife, an action plan for her pineapple production.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Guirkinger, Catherine. 2022. "Female entrepreneurship and husbands’ support: women’s investment in male-dominated pineapple production in Benin." AEA RCT Registry. January 26. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.8898
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details


The intervention consists of a business training and a subsidy to start or to expand a pineapple production. The business training tackles different aspects of entrepreneurship, such as planification, information seeking, or bookkeeping, and includes technical knowledges about pineapple production. Selected women are invited to 7 sessions lasting two to four hours and delivered over the course of four months. For half of the selected women, husbands are invited to take part to the training as well. The training takes place in groups of 10 individuals. The subsidy consists of in-kind transfers that cover most of the set-up cost of a field of 0.5 ha of pineapple. Specifically, the program finances the clearing and plowing of land, high quality pineapple sprouts, as well as the installation of a plastic film that prevents weeds and favors the crop growth. During the business training, women are accompanied to fill in the paper work for the subsidy if they so wish.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Women investment in pineapple production; husbands’ involvement in their wives’ activities; wives’ involvement in other household productions (including their husbands’ crops); women empowerment (including decision making and goal setting); economic and psychological well-being; sharing of household chores and household expenses.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Women invited to the training and subsidy program are randomly selected from a sample of pineapple producing households (these households typically include a man producing pineapple and in half of the cases a woman producing as well). Selected women are then randomly allocated in one of the two treatment arms: woman training or couple training. In the first case they are invited alone to join a group trained over the course of several months and accompanied to apply for the subsidy (automatically granted, provided the woman has access to 0.5 ha where she can plan pineapple). In the second case, she is invited with her husband to follow the same activities. A control group is selected among the original sample.
Data collection occurs in two waves (baseline and endline) with some additional data collected during the training.
The training groups (107 in total) were created considering the geographical proximity of women.

Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
randomization by a computer.
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
A total of 1009 women have been allocated to one of three groups: individual training (336 women), couple training (337 women), control (337 women). A total of 107 groups are to be trained.
Sample size: planned number of observations
A total of 1009 women (and their household) are part of the the study.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
The control group consists of 337 women, the individual training group includes 336 women and the couple training group 337 women.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of Namur – social sciences ethical committee
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number