Working in the Gig Economy

Last registered on September 08, 2022

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Working in the Gig Economy
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0010002
Initial registration date
September 02, 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
September 08, 2022, 10:34 AM 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
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2022-09-05
End date
2023-02-28
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
The study investigates digital leadership and performance in the gig economy. Previous studies have demonstrated that the usage of different communication channels, as well as the chosen leadership style, can potentially affect followers’ performance in gig labor markets. However, the evidence is mixed and we lack a clear understanding of the signaling value of the chosen communication channel and style. Whereas previous studies have manipulated the channel and style exogenously without informing the workers about the potential options, the current set-up will focus on the active choice by employers and its signaling value.
In particular, this study focuses on the choice of individuals in the role of employers as well as the performance of workers being exposed to the chosen set of task instructions. The study addresses the following questions: Which communication channel do employers choose? Are there differences between the chosen channels depending on the leadership style? How does the employer's choice affect worker performance if the workers know the employer had different options?

External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Nieken, Petra. 2022. "Working in the Gig Economy." AEA RCT Registry. September 08. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.10002-1.0
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
The project consists of two studies.
Study 1: Our intervention encompasses three treatments: In all treatments, participants are in the role of employers. They have to decide which instructions workers will be exposed to from a predefined set of options.

Study 2: In study 2, we will focus on the workers and study their performance when they are exposed to the instructions chosen by an employer. The workers will be informed that the employer had different options.
Intervention Start Date
2022-09-07
Intervention End Date
2022-10-31

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Study 1: The main variable of interest is the chosen instruction option by the employers.
Study 2: The main variable of interest is the output of the workers measured as the number of submitted tasks.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The project consists of two studies.
Study 1: Our intervention encompasses three treatments: In all treatments, participants are in the role of employers. They have to decide which instructions workers will be exposed to from a predefined set of options.
Study 2: In study 2, we will focus on the workers and study their performance when they are exposed to the instructions chosen by an employer. The workers will be informed that the employer had different options.
We will run our experiment on Mturk. The HIT will be posted on Mturk and contain a short description of the task. If participants accept the HIT, they will get a link to the experiment which will be hosted on a survey platform. Participants from Mturk that are located in the U.S., have at least 500 Hits, and an approval rate of 98% are eligible to sign up. Participants are only allowed to participate once. Given that some instructions are presented as a video file, we execute an equipment test to ensure the participants meet the technical requirements. We impose these restrictions to ensure high data quality. We use an attention check and also record the time participants spend working on the study. If a participant fails the attention check, the data will be excluded from the analysis. In addition, we will exclude participants that speed through the instructions in an unreasonably short time.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Survey software
Randomization Unit
The randomization is done at the session level. Within each session, participants are randomly allocated to one of the session's treatments.
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
n.a.
Sample size: planned number of observations
We plan to collect 240 observations for each treatment in study 1. In study 2 we recruit 100 participants for each treatment. Given that we have six different options, we execute 6 treatments in study 2. One observation means one individual that participates in one of the above-mentioned treatments. The total number of observations thus amounts to 1320 participants.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
see above
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Ethics Comittee Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
IRB Approval Date
2022-08-03
IRB Approval Number
N/A