Gender Gaps in Indian Civil Service Recruitment

Last registered on July 21, 2022


Trial Information

General Information

Gender Gaps in Indian Civil Service Recruitment
Initial registration date
July 14, 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
July 21, 2022, 11:20 AM EDT

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



Primary Investigator


Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Women are often under-represented in competitive careers---including in the Indian civil services, where positions are allocated through a system of merit-based exams and successful placement often requires multiple exam attempts. Using data from a state public service commission, we show that women make fewer attempts than men in these exams, which leads to gender gaps in placement. We run a survey experiment to understand why women make fewer attempts than men. We focus on two main explanations: (i) the role of marriage and household constraints, or (ii) a lack of information about the number of attempts required for successful placement. We implement primes and information treatments related to these two explanations and measure how they affect choice over and investments in exam-taking.

External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Mangal, Kunal and Niharika Singh. 2022. "Gender Gaps in Indian Civil Service Recruitment ." AEA RCT Registry. July 21.
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Our survey experiment is conducted prior to an upcoming exam for civil service recruitment on July 24, 2022. We will have outcome data from this initial survey, a follow-up survey conducted after the results for the recruitment are announced (budget permitting), and administrative data. We list these below.

1) Initial Survey: # attempts an individual is willing to make; # attempts the individual thinks a hypothetical candidate should make
2) Behavioral: Whether individual invests in exam preparation by attempting questions on a practice exam
3) Administrative data: Whether individual takes exam; score
4) Follow-up Survey: Probability of re-taking exam

Our primary analysis will separate gender and marital status.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Individuals who select into taking our survey are randomized into one of four experimental conditions:

(1) Control - receive only a placebo information treatment and no marriage prime
(2) Marriage Prime - receive a survey section with 5 questions related to married life + (1)
(3) Information - receive information about the number of attempts required by successful candidates to clear the exam
(4) Marriage Prime + Information - receive a survey section with 5 questions related to married life + (3)
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization takes place in real-time on the Qualtrics survey platform
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
3000 individuals
Sample size: planned number of observations
3000 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
750 individuals in each of 4 experimental conditions
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Azim Premji University
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