Can User-friendly Labels Reduce Pesticides Use? Empirical Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial

Last registered on May 29, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

Can User-friendly Labels Reduce Pesticides Use? Empirical Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial
Initial registration date
November 27, 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
November 30, 2022, 4:23 PM EST

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

Last updated
May 29, 2023, 11:14 AM EDT

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



Primary Investigator


Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
The overuse and misuse of pesticide is very serious in many developing countries, including China. Many studies have explored solutions from the perspectves of risk aversion, law forbidden, and economic incentive, but no cost-effecyive solution has been found so far. Information and knowledge are important factors affecting decision-making of pesticide use, especially the pesticide label, which is a scientifical and convenient information source for farmers to obtain acurrate and timely information. However, most farners ignore labels in reality and rely on other information providers, such as pesticide retailers or their own experience, which are not realiable. Therefore, we want to figure out why the pesticide label does not work and how to activate it again.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Juhui, Chen. 2023. "Can User-friendly Labels Reduce Pesticides Use? Empirical Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial." AEA RCT Registry. May 29.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details


The three types of labels used in the experiment included the original labels (Control), simplified graphic labels (Treatment 1), and audiovisual labels (Treatment 2). The original label represents a typical pesticide label commonly found in the market. The simplified graphic label highlights essential usage and dosage information from the original label, presenting it in a combination of graphics and text. On the other hand, the audiovisual label incorporates a QR code on the front of the original label. This QR code provides access to a one-minute animated video explaining the appropriate usage and dosage of the pesticide.
By employing these different types of labels, the experiment aimed to observe the effects of the label variations on farmers' pesticide blending behavior.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
The dosage of pesticides calculated and dispensed by farmers in the various experimental groups.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Whether farmers use pesticide labels.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
In the experiment, a random assignment was conducted, allocating farmers to three distinct groups. Each group of farmers was presented with pesticides labeled differently. The farmers were then tasked with completing a pesticide blending experiment using the allocated pesticides.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Using the random algorithm built into the Survey Solutions survey software developed by World Bank
Randomization Unit
individual ramdomization
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
1200 farmers
Sample size: planned number of observations
1200 farmers
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
400 farmers control, 400 farmers simplified graphic labels (Treatment 1), and 400 farmers audiovisual labels (Treatment 2)
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Prior to the formal survey, a pilot survey was conducted across Jiangsu, Hebei, Shaanxi, and Guangxi provinces, involving approximately 1000 participants. The primary objective of the pilot survey was to assess the comprehensibility of the label designs for farmers and to identify any potential issues that might arise during the experiment. The minimum sample size for this study was determined based on the pesticide dosage data obtained from the pre-survey. With a minimum detectable effect size of 12% pesticide reduction, a standard deviation of 45.158, and a statistical power of 0.8, a sample size of 370 (control group) and 740 (total sample size of two intervention groups) was calculated to detect the intervention effect of user-friendly labels at a significance level of 5%.

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
College Economics and Management, China Agricultural University
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Intervention Completion Date
September 03, 2022, 12:00 +00:00
Data Collection Complete
Data Collection Completion Date
September 03, 2022, 12:00 +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
1185 farmers
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
394 farmers control, 402 farmers simplified graphic label and 389 farmers audiovisual label
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials