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Does Factory Work Make You WEIRD? Experimental Evidence from a Garment Factory in Tanzania

Health & Psychology Tanzania

Credit: BBB World Service on Flickr

People from Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic (WEIRD) societies are psychologically peculiar in ways that are important for economic outcomes. This project asks whether factory work can lead to the adoption of WEIRD psychological traits. We answer this question by randomizing job offers at a modern formal-sector garment factory in Tanzania. By following both those offered a job and those not offered a job, we can measure the causal effect of factory work on key psychological traits such as time preferences and individualism. In doing so we aim to shed light on a key psychological shift tied to development.

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