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

Last registered on September 16, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

Bringing Work Home: Internet-Mediated Gig Work and Women's Employment
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
September 16, 2023, 4:57 PM EDT

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



Primary Investigator


Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
PI Affiliation

Additional Trial Information

Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
This paper studies the effects of introducing flexible work arrangements on female labor force participation and gender norms. In a field experiment with 1,670 households, we test the impact of offering flexible jobs to women currently outside of the labor force. We find three sets of results. First, flexible work arrangements dramatically increase take up of work: the take up rate for the most flexible job is 228% higher than the take up rate of an office job (15%). Randomly varying specific dimensions of job flexibility shows that the ability to multitask work with childcare and to work from home are the deciding factors in labor supply for many women, particularly those from more traditional households. Second, work experience shifts the gender attitudes of women and their children to become less traditional, and experience with flexible jobs increases willingness to accept inflexible jobs after the intervention. Lastly, despite women’s increased labor supply under flexible work arrangements, employers may choose not to offer flexible jobs more frequently due to negative worker selection and negative effects on productivity.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Ho, Lisa, Suhani Jalota and Anahita Karandikar. 2023. "Bringing Work Home: Internet-Mediated Gig Work and Women's Employment." AEA RCT Registry. September 16.
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Experimental Details


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
Intervention End Date

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. We then offer another round of work opportunities to all participants who completed the endline survey. These work opportunities vary in their flexibility in time, ability to multitask with childcare, and work location. We measure take up of these job outcomes.

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). To measure the impact on women's interest in future work, we offer another round of jobs and measure take up of these job opportunities. These jobs vary in whether they are digital or non-digital, and vary across the same three dimensions as the original treatment.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done by a computer
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
1670 households
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
1250 treatment, 420 control;

First job offers: 208 most flexible job, 208 fixed time-slot job, 208 for no multitasking with childcare, 208 fixed time-slot and no multitasking with childcare, 415 fixed location.

Final job offers (after option to switch to most flexible job): 731 most flexible job, 103 fixed time-slot job, 105 for no multitasking with childcare, 105 fixed time-slot and no multitasking with childcare, 206 fixed location.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Committee on the Use of Humans as Experimental Subjects
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

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Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Intervention Completion Date
October 21, 2022, 12:00 +00:00
Data Collection Complete
Data Collection Completion Date
April 29, 2023, 12:00 +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
1670 households
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
1525 (endline survey)
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
386 control, 1139 treatment households
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials