Expanding Diversity in Economics

Last registered on March 01, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

Expanding Diversity in Economics
Initial registration date
January 02, 2023

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
January 03, 2023, 5:33 PM EST

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

Last updated
March 01, 2023, 3:04 PM EST

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


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Primary Investigator

University of Chicago

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Chicago
PI Affiliation
University of Chicago
PI Affiliation
University of Chicago

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Economics lags other disciplines in inclusivity both as a field of study and career track, with disproportionately low representation of women and racial and ethnic minority groups, relative both to the population at large and to other academic disciplines. To address this challenge, the Becker Friedman Institute at the University of Chicago has launched the “Expanding Diversity in Economics program” (EDE Program) to help attract underrepresented undergraduate students to economics. Although diversity and inclusion programs are increasingly common in educational and workplace settings, virtually no rigorous evidence of their effectiveness exists. We propose the first longitudinal randomized controlled trial to evaluate the causal impact of a diversity program on applicant outcomes: students’ choices of courses and major, graduate study, career track, and pursuing research in economics. We randomize selection into the 2022 and 2023 cohorts of the program, admitting randomly selected students into the program from a pool of top applicants. We stratify on economic status and international / domestic student status, and balance across key demographic characteristics and education outcomes. Outcome data is tracked using several rounds of surveys and secondary data on educational and professional outcomes.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Buchsbaum, Jesse et al. 2023. "Expanding Diversity in Economics." AEA RCT Registry. March 01. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.10616-2.0
Experimental Details


The Becker Friedman Institute (BFI) at the University of Chicago launched the Expanding Diversity in Economics (EDE) program in 2021 to attract to economics, diverse, extraordinary undergraduate students from historically underrepresented backgrounds who may not otherwise consider majoring in economics. The program aims to diversify the pool of students majoring in economics, who may go on to conduct economics research, a graduate program of study, or be encouraged to pursue a career related to economics or policy.

We are conducting a longitudinal randomized controlled trial to evaluate the impact of the EDE program, randomizing admission into the program from a pool of top applicants that were identified as “highly qualified.” For the 2022 cohort of the program, we randomize program enrollment from a group of highly qualified applicants, with the participants to commence the program in June 2022. The second wave of the RCT will take place with the 2023 program cohort.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Students' choices of major/minor in economics
Application to and enrollment in graduate studies (both in economics and other fields)
Research assistant and other economics-related internships
Career in economics
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Students’ choices of courses
Graduation (binary indicator and length of time to get degree)
Income (as self-reported via surveys and estimated by profession)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We will assess the impact of the EDE program on student outcomes in the 2022 cohort, and subsequent cohorts. Each year, applications for the program are assessed by a selection committee using standardized assessment criteria. Applicants judged to meet the eligibility criteria and to be highly qualified for the program comprise the study sample. The EDE program cohort is approximately 50 students per year. Seven are selected directly by the selection committee as “presidential picks” chosen for special reasons, and admitted into the program directly, not participating in the randomization process. For the remaining spots, acceptances are randomized. The control group comprises all highly qualified applicants not randomly selected into the study.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer.
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
100 individuals per cohort (at least two cohorts).
Sample size: planned number of observations
100 individuals per cohort. Each individual will be surveyed 6-8 times.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
60 students control, 40 students enrolled in program per cohort (at least two cohorts).
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Assuming two total cohorts, minimum detectable effects are shown below assuming baseline characteristics as found in Becker (2016): 18 percentage point change in pursuit of graduate studies in economics 7 percentage point change in pursuit of a career in economics 15 percentage point change in research assistantships in economics

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of Chicago Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

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