Time Scarcity and left-digit bias

Last registered on January 23, 2024


Trial Information

General Information

Time Scarcity and left-digit bias
Initial registration date
January 23, 2024

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
January 23, 2024, 1:17 PM EST

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



Primary Investigator

Universidad del Pacifico

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Chicago

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 test the effect of a recent experience of time scarcity on financial decisions, examining the role of left-digit bias. Our main hypothesis is that people who recently experienced time scarcity are exhausted. This makes them more prone to rely on mental shortcuts, and thus exhibit a higher degree of left-digit bias. We test this hypothesis in a laboratory study with economics and finance college students in Peru.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Barron, Manuel and Daniela Bresciani. 2024. "Time Scarcity and left-digit bias." AEA RCT Registry. January 23. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.12864-1.0
Experimental Details


Study participants have to perform a series of calculations with a spreadsheet and answer a number of questions related to the data. Some participants are given 15 minutes (control group) and others are given 5 minutes (treatment group). The latter are exposed to time scarcity. After this task, participants choose between hypothetical investment alternatives.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Degree of left-digit bias
Reliance of use of heuristics
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Please see PAP

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Number of correct answers in the spreadsheet question: total and per minute.

Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Please see PAP

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Some participants will be exposed to time scarcity by being allowed less time than their counterparts to answer a series of questions using data from a spreadsheet.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
150 students
Sample size: planned number of observations
150 students
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
75 control, 75 treatment.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Universidad del Pacifico
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

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