Discouraging Competition

Last registered on March 22, 2024


Trial Information

General Information

Discouraging Competition
Initial registration date
March 19, 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
March 19, 2024, 5:37 PM EDT

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

Last updated
March 22, 2024, 3:45 AM EDT

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


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Primary Investigator

University of Gothenburg - Department of Economics

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Gothenburg - Department of Economics
PI Affiliation
University of Gothenburg - Department of Economics

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 if increased competition leads to decreased effort provision.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Behler, Timm, Jens Ewald and Patrik Reichert. 2024. "Discouraging Competition." AEA RCT Registry. March 22. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.13204-1.1
Experimental Details


We randomly vary (1) prize inequality across contests in 3 treatments and (2) contest scale across contests in 3 treatments.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Our main outcome variable of interest is (unobservable) individual effort. We have three proxies:
(1) the number of correctly classified images during the time allocated to complete the task,
(2) time elapsed until a participant exits the task,
(3) dummy variable for early exit.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Note on (2) and (3): we allow participants to exit the task before the maximum time of 30 minutes allocated for the task is over.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We recruit workers on MTurk to complete a task often requested on the platform: image classification. The workers are randomized into five treatment, varying (1) prize inequality and (2) contest scale. Workers compete in groups: prize allocation is a function of how many images an individual classifies correctly. The experiment ends with a questionnaire.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
We randomize each individual among all five treatments, conditional on maintaining an even allocation among treatments. The randomization is performed by a computer.
Randomization Unit
Individual participant.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
See analysis plan.

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Ethical Advisory Board at the Department of Economics (University of Gothenburg)
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

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