Outcome Bias and risk taking in a principal agent setting 2

Last registered on August 30, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

Outcome Bias and risk taking in a principal agent setting 2
Initial registration date
April 10, 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
April 13, 2023, 4:07 PM EDT

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

Last updated
August 30, 2023, 10:02 AM EDT

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



Primary Investigator

Toulouse School of Economics

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
I consider a setting of delegated risk taking. Agents choose between a first-order stochastically
dominant and a dominated lottery. Principals observe choices and outcomes of both lotteries and
then decide whether to award a bonus payment to the agent. The goal of this experiment is to
study whether outcome bias (OB), that is a tendency to condition bonus payments on outcomes,
can shape the incentives faced by agents and thereby their choices. In particular, I seek to address
the following research questions. 1) Can outcome bias in bonus decisions eliminate incentives to
optimal actions? 2) Do agents anticipate the OB of principals correctly and 3) do they adjust their
choices accordingly, i.e. can outcome bias induce more choices of sub-optimal actions, and thus
decrease welfare?
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Loewenfeld, Moritz. 2023. "Outcome Bias and risk taking in a principal agent setting 2." AEA RCT Registry. August 30. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.11213-1.2
Experimental Details


I run a lab experiment at the Toulouse School of Economics. For details on the design, see the document "design_pap.pdf".
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Bonus decisions of participants in the role of principal and choices and beliefs of participants in the role of agent. For details, see the document "design_pap.pdf".
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Agents make a number of decisions between two lotteries on behalf of the principals. Principals decide on bonus payments. Participants are randomly and permanently assigned to the role of either principal or agent.

For details, see the document "design_pap.pdf".
Experimental Design Details
Principals make their bonus decisions either conditional (reward-after treatment) or unconditional (reward-before treatment) on outcomes.
Randomization Method
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
about 29 sessions.
Sample size: planned number of observations
I aim for 300 participants.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
I aim for 140 participants in the reward-before treatment (70 agents and 70 principals), and 160 participants in the reward-after treatment.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
TSE Research Ethics Committee for Experimental Research
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

Analysis Plan Documents


MD5: b6a28491c8e402b97b04eabb33b1e825

SHA1: b256c135ec11ef6e3dec0906b746124449e7e30e

Uploaded At: April 10, 2023


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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials