Market exchange and diversity

Last registered on February 07, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

Market exchange and diversity
Initial registration date
January 30, 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
February 07, 2023, 11:12 AM EST

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


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Primary Investigator

University of Texas at Dallas

Other Primary Investigator(s)

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.
Individuals specializing in what they can do best is a central component of economic production. However, people often seek partners among those who are superficially like them (e.g., gender, race). Such preferences for homophily can deprive a population of diversity, resulting in segregation. In a market context, such preferences can harm efficiency by limiting the search for exchange partners. We are interested to study mechanisms that drive lack of diversity in a setting where agents can engage in the most foundational market behavior: they can specialize to generate gains from trade through exchange.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Levine, Sheen, Simon Siegenthaler and Bart Wilson. 2023. "Market exchange and diversity." AEA RCT Registry. February 07.
Experimental Details


We are running a lab experiment with a setting where participants can discover how to specialize. We study if market efficiency and specialization differ between groups with different race and gender compositions. We are also interested in market size effects.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Efficiency in the last 14 periods
Degree and speed of specialization
Number of same-race (or gender) versus across-race (or gender) specialized pairs in Mixed treatment
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Efficiency is the percentage of realized gains relative to the most efficient outcome (competitive equilibrium).
Specialization is the shift in time devoted to the good for which a participant has a comparative advantage relative to the autarky outcome.
Specialization across race or gender is the degree to which it happens between individuals of different races/genders.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Chat and communication
Image selection
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
We will analyze the chat people use to enter trading relationships. Specifically, we will analyze how active and sociable people are, and if the discussions are positive/negative.
Image selection is the photograph people select.

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The experimental design is described in the "hidden" field.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Participants of the UT Dallas LBOE lab subject pool are invited randomly using the recruitment software SONA.
Randomization Unit
Markets (groups of 4)
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
20 markets per treatment.
Sample size: planned number of observations
80-100 unique participants per treatment, 360-400 in total.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
80-100 participants per treatment.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney test: Efficiency in the last 14 periods: minimum detectable effect size is 0.74, the unit is the proportion relative to competitive equilibrium (between 0 and 1), and the expected standard deviation is 0.23. 50% increase over expected baseline efficiency (from 50% to 70%). Specialization: same. Wilcoxon matched-pair test: Number of same-race versus mixed-race pairs in Mixed treatments: minimum detectable effect size is 0.37, the unit is the number of specialized pairs per market (between 0 and 2), and the expected standard deviation is 0.92 for same-race and 0.74 for mixed.

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Market exchange and diversity
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

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