Demand for Pay Transparency Among Hollywood Creatives

Last registered on June 23, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

Demand for Pay Transparency Among Hollywood Creatives
Initial registration date
June 16, 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
June 23, 2023, 4:50 PM EDT

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



Primary Investigator

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Harvard Business School
PI Affiliation
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
PI Affiliation
University of British Columbia

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Many organizations have expressed support for pay equity. Yet, few organizations have internally analyzed pay differences and even fewer have shared pay information with their employees. Even employee-lead organizations who have collected these data for several decades have faced barriers in making them accessible to their members. One explanation for the mismatch between publicly expressed sentiment and private action is a conflict between the privately held opinions of the minority in decision making positions and the majority of employees. We test this hypothesis in an industry that made the headlines for its unequal pay practices: Hollywood. Specifically, we survey the members of the Hollywood Guilds, employee-lead organizations with a publicly stated goal of achieving pay equity. 98% of screenwriters recently voted in favor of a contract stating a goal to "enact measures to combat discrimination and harassment and to promote pay equity" (WGA, 2023). We use a survey experiment to elicit demand for the collection and release of pay data. We ask guild members about their actual pay, and their beliefs about where their own pay falls relative to others' pay. We then describe the type of pay reports we could produce and ask them to state their support or opposition for making such reports publicly available.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Cullen, Zoe et al. 2023. "Demand for Pay Transparency Among Hollywood Creatives." AEA RCT Registry. June 23.
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
1) Private interest in pay information (aggregated pay and split by race/gender)
2) Public interest in pay information (aggregated pay and split by race/gender)
3) Relative interest in pay information from external and internal organizations (aggregated pay and split by race/gender)
4) Which position titles should pay information be produced for (aggregated pay and split by race/gender)
Key heterogeneity in outcomes: perceived earnings, predicted earnings based on IMDB record (credit for titles, box office returns, prestige), gender, race, Guild status/role
Key filters: members of the guild
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
All outcomes map directly to questions in the survey instrument.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We survey Hollywood Guild members in the film and television industries regarding their interest in the production of a pay report.
Experimental Design Details
We survey Hollywood Guild members regarding their interest in the production a pay report. Each respondent is asked about both their private interest (confidential answer) and public interest (willingness to sign a petition) in a pay report. We randomize whether the report is about gender gaps or aggregated pay in the first question. In eliciting public interest, we randomly vary whether we ask about a petition to the relevant Guild or to traditional networks and/or studios. We additionally ask which positions for which the report should be produced, beyond the respondent's own position.
Randomization Method
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
We will reach out to 7,000-20,000 Hollywood Guild members
Sample size: planned number of observations
We will reach out to 7,000-20,000 Hollywood Guild members
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
50% treatment among survey respondents
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of British Columbia
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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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