The Costs and Benefits of Diversity: Evidence from A Field Experiment

Last registered on February 01, 2024


Trial Information

General Information

The Costs and Benefits of Diversity: Evidence from A Field Experiment
Initial registration date
January 21, 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, 12:56 PM EST

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

Last updated
February 01, 2024, 12:45 AM EST

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



Primary Investigator

Bryant University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Bryant University

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
This study extends the existing literature on the dynamics of diverse teams by leveraging a natural experiment. It involves college students working in teams on real-world design challenges in a natural setting with heightened incentive. Around 900 students are randomly assigned into teams with varying gender compositions, including all-male, male-majority mixed gender, balanced mixed gender, and female-majority mixed gender configurations. Using administrative and survey data, this study seeks to provide insights into both objective performance metrics and subjective personal experiences.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Butler, Allison and Ferdous Sardar. 2024. "The Costs and Benefits of Diversity: Evidence from A Field Experiment." AEA RCT Registry. February 01.
Experimental Details


This study involves a three-day design thinking event among first-year college students. The intervention's core is the randomized assignment of students into small teams with varied gender compositions.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Team performance
• Individual performance
• Team performance
Team Innovation:
• Number of ideas generated by the teams during the brainstorm sessions.
• Originality & Innovativeness score of their solution as evaluated by their mentors and independent evaluator.
Team dynamics:
• Satisfaction
• Sense of unity
• Communication
• Cooperation
• Conflict resolution
• Decision making
• Engagement
• Morale
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design

Students are randomly assigned to one of the following teams:
• All male (5 members)
• All male (4 members)
• Mixed gender - male dominant (3 male and 2 female members)
• Mixed gender - balanced (2 male and 2 female members)
• Mixed gender - female dominant (2 male and 3 female members)
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer using Stata
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
No cluster
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
• All male: ~343
• Mixed gender - male dominant: ~112
• Mixed gender - balanced: ~176
• Mixed gender - female dominant: ~247
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Bryant University
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

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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