Affirmative Action and Discriminatory Beliefs

Last registered on February 27, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

Affirmative Action and Discriminatory Beliefs
Initial registration date
December 06, 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
December 13, 2022, 11:08 PM EST

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

Last updated
February 27, 2023, 5:43 AM EST

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


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Primary Investigator

Ashoka University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
PI Affiliation
PI Affiliation

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Affirmative action remains highly contentious across the globe with groups receiving affirmative action being potentially subject to discrimination. However, it is hard to know whether the discrimination that they face relates to their group identity, or to their affirmative action status. If affirmative action generates additional discrimination, the welfare gain of affirmative action policies may be reduced. In this experiment, we study whether affirmative action beneficiaries are discriminated against because of their status rather than their identity, by looking at whether they are judged to be of lower ability, and allocated less money for a task, when their affirmative action status is made public. If this is the case, our design allows us to understand whether this is due to a stigma of incompetence (people assume that affirmative action beneficiaries perform worse) or a bias towards groups that receive affirmative action.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Deshpande, Ashwini et al. 2023. "Affirmative Action and Discriminatory Beliefs ." AEA RCT Registry. February 27.
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
We have two primary outcomes:
- Score guessed
- Amount of money allocated
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
We have a post-experimental survey that elicits attitudes regarding affirmative action.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Our experimental design involves a two-step online experiment with two separate groups of individuals.

All the participants will be recruited from several universities in Delhi.

The first group of participants, “test-takers”, will complete a competency test online (short version of a Raven’s Progressive Matrices Test) and respond to a survey regarding various demographic characteristics.

The second group of participants will be randomly allocated across two treatment arms and one control. They will have to guess scores and allocate money to a subset of the first gorup of participants.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Made by a computer
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Ashoka University Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

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