Engagement Experiment

Last registered on April 02, 2024


Trial Information

General Information

Engagement Experiment
Initial registration date
February 13, 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
February 16, 2024, 3:37 PM EST

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

Last updated
April 02, 2024, 3:12 AM EDT

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



Primary Investigator

University of St. Gallen

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
MIT Sloan School of Management
PI Affiliation
University of St. Gallen

Additional Trial Information

Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
The question is whether a minority shareholder's "voice" is an effective engagement tool. The hypothesis is that shareholder engagement can lead to board accountability for sustainability goals.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Heeb, Florian, Julian Kölbel and Camilla Weder. 2024. "Engagement Experiment." AEA RCT Registry. April 02. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.12912-2.0
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details


We study the effect of investor engagement on the climate strategy of listed corporations.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
The dependent variable of this experiment indicates whether an environmental, social and governance (ESG) committee or a sustainability committee has been established on the board of a company and/ or a responsible person has been appointed. It is required that the name of the appointed responsible person is publicly disclosed either on their website, in their annual report, or any other publicly available communication after receiving the letter. This is a binary variable derived from individual analyses.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
The outcome variable indicates whether the board has established a committee that addresses environmental issues, social responsibility, climate change, environmental sustainability or other topics that fall within the scope of environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles (committees that focus primarily on governance aspects do not fulfil the criteria). It scores one if companies establish an ESG committee and/ or appoint a responsible person and disclose both actions - including the name of the responsible person - after receiving the letter of formal notice. Otherwise, it assumes the value zero.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Simple randomised field study with one treatment arm.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by picking independently from a bucket.
Randomization Unit
Randomisation is performed by the authors on a company basis.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
56 companies
Sample size: planned number of observations
56 companies
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
28 companies control, 28 companies treatment
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
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