Market exchange and diversity

Last registered on October 11, 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.

Last updated
October 11, 2023, 9:55 AM EDT

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


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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. October 11.
Experimental Details


Update May 12th 2023:
We plan to run an online experiment on Prolific instead of the initially registered lab experiment. Three considerations led to this change: First, we need a diverse subject pool, and we learned that the UT Dallas lab is not sufficiently mixed. Second, we now plan to have more treatments than initially planned. A more extensive online subject pool is beneficial. Third, homophily effects may occur more naturally in a general population setting than in the laboratory where all participants are students.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Efficiency in the last 10 periods
Degree and speed of specialization
Number of same-race (or gender) versus across-race (or gender) specialized pairs in Mixed treatment
Dropouts during the experiment conditional on race
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. Who chats with whom? And how active and sociable are people?
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 are recruited via Prolific
Randomization Unit
Markets (groups of 4)
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
15-20 markets per treatment.
Sample size: planned number of observations
ca. 500
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
60-100 unique participants per treatment
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

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

There is information in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access.

Request Information