The Impact of Intra-household Information Asymmetry on Labor Supply

Last registered on August 03, 2022

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
The Impact of Intra-household Information Asymmetry on Labor Supply
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0009564
Initial registration date
August 01, 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
August 03, 2022, 3:04 PM EDT

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

Locations

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Primary Investigator

Affiliation
BROWN UNIVERSITY

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Brown University

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2022-07-24
End date
2022-10-30
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
While existing literature suggests that removing information asymmetry between spouses leads to more efficient household economic decisions (Ashraf, 2009; Castilla & Walker, 2013), it is unknown whether the overall impact of revealing income information to one's spouse is positive because social pressure to redistribute one's income distorts labor supply decisions (Carranza et al., 2021). Using a randomized control trial with Cambodian garment workers, we will study the effect of removing income information asymmetry between spouses on overall household expenditures through two channels: (1) labor supply and (2) intra-household reallocation.

External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Mahadeshwar, Ruchi and ALEX ZHOU. 2022. "The Impact of Intra-household Information Asymmetry on Labor Supply." AEA RCT Registry. August 03. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.9564
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
The proposed study will be a lab-in-the-field experiment with low-income individuals whose income-making efforts are closely tied to their productivity, Cambodian garment workers. Our main intervention will vary the extent to which the participants are aware of their spouses' earnings in the lab sessions.

If the sample size allows, we may also cross-randomize a second intervention. The second intervention will vary the difference between spouses' earnings and effort in the lab sessions.

Intervention Start Date
2022-07-24
Intervention End Date
2022-10-30

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
• Participants' production outcomes in the lab session.
• Intra-household transfers of the sessions' earnings.
• Consumption decisions of the sessions' earnings.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The research team will recruit around 300 couples from Cambodian textile factories. After recruitment, participants will be randomly assigned to participate in one lab session described below.

Control Group Intervention Session: Couples are separated upon arrival and told that the women are in one room and the men in another. At the beginning of the experiment, the participants are told about the task they will be asked to complete and how earnings for the task are calculated. Male participants are also explicitly told at the beginning of the session that their earnings would be kept private from their spouses.

During the experiment, male participants will be asked to work on simple production tasks (assembling/dissembling clothing tags). The male participants will earn a basic reward for attending the session. In addition, they will earn a small unit price for every piece they make.

Female participants will be asked to sit in a small workshop and listen to a short presentation from our partner NGO. They will not work on production tasks. They will earn a basic reward for attending the session.

Treatment Group 1 Intervention Session: Treatment session 1 follows the same procedure as the control session, except that the male participants will now be explicitly told at the beginning of the session that their wives will be informed of their earnings at the end. After the experiment, the female participants will receive information on their husbands' earnings.

Treatment Group 2 Intervention Session: Couples are separated upon arrival and told that the women are in one room and the men in another. At the beginning of the experiment, the participants are told about the task they will be asked to complete and how earnings for the task are calculated. Female participants are also explicitly told at the beginning of the session that their earnings would be kept private from their spouses.

During the experiment, female participants will be asked to work on simple production tasks (assembling/dissembling clothing tags). The female participants will earn a basic reward for attending the session. In addition, they will earn a small unit price for every piece they make.

Male participants will be asked to sit in a small workshop and listen to a short presentation from our partner NGO. They will not work on production tasks. They will earn a basic reward for attending the session.

Treatment Group 3 Intervention Session: Treatment session 3 follows the same procedure as treatment session 2, except that the female participants will now be explicitly told at the beginning of the session that their husbands will be informed of their earnings at the end of the session. After the experiment, the male participants will receive information on their wives' earnings.

At the end of the session, the research team will ask each participant to state his/her preference for allocating the session's earnings between himself/herself and his/her spouse. The participant will receive the portion of income that he/she prefers to keep private. Then, the participants will be reunited with their spouses. The couples will be given a short period to decide how to allocate the session's earnings. Finally, after a couple reaches a final decision, they will report the decision to the research team, and the research team will distribute the remaining earnings according to their decision.

If the sample size allows, we may also cross-randomize a second intervention. The second intervention will vary the difference between spouses' earnings and effort in the lab sessions. During the experiment, the husbands will be asked to conduct a simple production task. The husbands will work under a piece-rate wage system. The wives will:
Group 1: earn a low fixed wage for attending an information session (no effort).
Group 2: earn a low fixed wage for performing a simple production task (effort).
Group 3: earn a high fixed wage for attending an information session (no effort).
Group 4: earn a high fixed wage for performing a simple production task (effort).


Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization by a computer.
Randomization Unit
Experimental Session.
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
N.A.
Sample size: planned number of observations
300 couples (300 male participants, 300 female participants).
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
75 couples in each arm.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
national ethics committee for health research cambodia
IRB Approval Date
2022-04-18
IRB Approval Number
091NECHR
Analysis Plan

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