Bringing Work Home: Internet-Mediated Gig Work and Women's Employment

Last registered on July 17, 2022

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Bringing Work Home: Internet-Mediated Gig Work and Women's Employment
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0009190
Initial registration date
April 07, 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
April 07, 2022, 3:03 PM EDT

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

Last updated
July 17, 2022, 12:13 PM EDT

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

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
MIT

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation

Additional Trial Information

Status
On going
Start date
2022-04-11
End date
2023-06-30
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
This randomized experiment with 1,500-2,000 households in and around Kolkata, India addresses two primary research questions: (1) How valuable are job attributes such as flexibility in location, hours, and multitasking in increasing FLFP?, and (2) What are the impacts of women starting part-time, at-home work, and to what degree can this type of work function as a stepping stone to full-time or outside-the-home employment? We will offer variations on internet-mediated gig jobs to women which are identical to each other except along one attribute and measure the impact of that attribute (e.g. the ability to work from home) on take up of work. Second, we implement these jobs over one month and estimate their effects on gender attitudes related to work and household roles, household members’ time use, and interest in future work opportunities. After the job intervention, we measure take up of assistance in starting further skills training and employment as an outcome to understand whether short-term, part-time, at-home work can act as a gateway to the broader labor market.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Ho, Lisa and Anahita Karandikar. 2022. "Bringing Work Home: Internet-Mediated Gig Work and Women's Employment." AEA RCT Registry. July 17. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.9190
Sponsors & Partners

There is information in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access.

Request Information
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
The intervention consists of month-long internet-mediated gig jobs which can be done on a smartphone. Participants complete speech-based tasks on an Android application developed by Karya Inc. We pay participants a piece rate of approximately Rs. 1 per task, which is the wage our implementing partners have previously used in similar contexts. These tasks include recording oneself speaking specific sentences in Bengali or Hindi, and the tasks range in difficulty level.

Participants are randomized into work arrangements which vary across three characteristics: (1) the ability to work from home, (2) the ability to choose one's work hours flexibly, and (3) the ability to multitask with childcare. After making job offers but before the work begins, we randomly select half of participants in the treatment groups with inflexible constraints to be upgraded to the most flexible work arrangement, which allows them to work from home, choose work hours, and multitask with childcare.
Intervention Start Date
2022-06-17
Intervention End Date
2022-09-17

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
1. Interest and take up of jobs by work arrangement. The work arrangements vary across three attributes: (1) ability to choose location, (2) ability to choose hours of work, and (3) ability to multitask with childcare. We will assess interest/take up of jobs in at least two ways: (1) women's responses in the baseline survey to whether they would take each job if offered it, and (2) whether or not women actually start the job that they are assigned during the intervention period.

2. Interest in further training and work after the intervention. During the endline survey, we will elicit women's interest in skills training or other work opportunities.

3. Gender attitudes related to gender and work, household roles, and technology.

4. Women's agency. We will measure agency related to at least two categories: (i) mobility and (ii) ability to make financial decisions.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
1. Attributes of women who select into different work arrangements. We will measure whether women who opt into more or less flexible jobs differ along (i) baseline characteristics such as agency, gender attitudes, and household structure, (ii) on-the-job productivity, and (iii) persistence in the job throughout the month-long intervention.

2. On-the-job productivity, including comparisons across work arrangements.

3. Persistence in the job (i.e. to what extent women continue in the job throughout the intervention), including comparisons across work arrangements.

4. Children's aspirations and attitudes. We will compare the stated educational/career aspirations and gender attitudes at endline between children in treatment households vs control households. We do not expect to be well-powered on this outcome.

5. Time use. We will try to understand how women change their schedules in order to accommodate work in the treatment group.

6. Spending. We will try to understand how households use the earnings that women make from the intervention.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Our evaluation consists of an RCT in and around Kolkata, West Bengal with approximately 1,500-2,000 households. Participating households will be randomly assigned into job treatment groups and a control group. The month-long, smartphone-based jobs consist of contributing to a Bengali or Hindi dataset by speaking aloud provided sentences.

The job treatment groups vary across three dimensions: 1) ability to choose work location, 2) ability to choose work hours, and 3) ability to multitask with childcare. First, we offer jobs to women and measure the difference in job acceptance for each job variation. Second, we return to a random subset of participants who were originally offered inflexible work arrangements, and we offer them the option to switch to the most flexible job. Third, we implement the month-long jobs. Lastly, at the end of the short-term job, we provide information about further training and work and measure the impacts of jobs on the households (e.g. women's interest in future work, time use, gender attitudes, and agency).
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done by a computer
Randomization Unit
Household
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
N/A
Sample size: planned number of observations
1500-2000 households
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
1128 treatment, 375 control;

First job offers: 188 most flexible job, 188 fixed time-slot job, 188 for no multitasking with childcare, 188 fixed time-slot and no multitasking with childcare, 376 fixed location.

Final job offers (after option to switch to most flexible job): 658 most flexible job, 94 fixed time-slot job, 94 for no multitasking with childcare, 94 fixed time-slot and no multitasking with childcare, 188 fixed location.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Committee on the Use of Humans as Experimental Subjects
IRB Approval Date
2022-02-22
IRB Approval Number
2106000402A003
Analysis Plan

There is information in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access.

Request Information