Information about future skill shortage and firm expectations

Last registered on September 04, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

Information about future skill shortage and firm expectations
Initial registration date
September 03, 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
September 04, 2023, 7:05 AM EDT

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


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Primary Investigator

Technical University of Munich

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Technical University of Munich
PI Affiliation
Technical University of Munich

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
We study whether information about future skill shortage affects firms’ expectations. We implement an information experiment among managers of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in Germany. Participants will be randomly provided with information from expert forecasts about the future shortage of skilled workers in Germany. After randomized information provision, participants will be asked about their general expectations regarding their firm’s performance. They will also be asked about their expectations about future skill shortage in their industry sector, and a series of questions how they perceive skill shortage, and how they plan to counteract it. The survey will be implemented as a pen and paper survey.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Baier, Helena, Philipp Lergetporer and Thomas Rittmannsberger. 2023. "Information about future skill shortage and firm expectations." AEA RCT Registry. September 04.
Experimental Details


Participating SME managers are randomly assigned to an information treatment group or a control group. Participants in the information treatment group are informed about expert forecasts regarding the skill shortage in Germany. Those in the control group do not receive this information. Respondents will then be asked about (i) their general expectations regarding their firm’s performance, (ii) their beliefs about the extent of skill shortage in their industry, and (iii) a battery of questions on how they perceive the skill shortage, and (iv) how they plan to counteract it.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
1. Beliefs about skilled labor shortage in own industry sector (q06)

2. General expectations about firm performance, i.e., revenue, employment, and investment growth (index summarizing answers to questions q01 – q03)

3. Perceptions about skill shortage in own company (index summarizing answers to questions q07 – q11)

4. Plans to counteract the shortage of skilled labor in their company (index summarizing answers to questions q12 – q17)
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Expectations about overall worker shortage (q04) and unskilled worker shortage (q05). Heterogeneity by prior beliefs about future skill shortage (elicited a year prior from a subset of participating firm managers), and by industry sector (categorized by exposure to skill shortage). Exploratory heterogeneity analysis by firm and manager characteristics.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The survey experiment will be carried out in a sample of up to 2,000 small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Germany. The respondents (people in positions of management within the firm) are contacted by postal mail. Respondents will be randomly sent one of two different versions of the survey. One group (information treatment group) will receive a survey including an expert forecast concerning the projected shortage of skilled labor. The other group (control group) will receive the same survey without this information. Respondents in all groups will answer several questions concerning their general expectations, their beliefs and perceptions of skilled labor shortage in their company, and their plans to address the shortage.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
In office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Individual level (firm managers)
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
2,000 firm managers
Sample size: planned number of observations
2,000 firm managers
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
2,000 firm managers (1,000 per treatment arm)
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
German Association for Experimental Economic Research Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number