The Biden-Trump election, the salience of age, and its effect on the entrepreneurship of older adults

Last registered on April 26, 2024


Trial Information

General Information

The Biden-Trump election, the salience of age, and its effect on the entrepreneurship of older adults
Initial registration date
April 24, 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
April 26, 2024, 12:41 PM EDT

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


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Primary Investigator

City College of New York

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
This paper examines the influence of age-related media coverage of political figures on entrepreneurship among older adults, particularly in the context of the 2024 US Presidential Election. Utilizing a novel approach that bridges entrepreneurship, politics, and identity theories, we propose and test two mechanisms through which the salience of age affects older adults' entrepreneurial activities: performance effects and evaluative bias. Through a pair of pre-registered online priming experiments, we aim to demonstrate that media coverage highlighting the advanced age and cognitive decline of political candidates—specifically Joe Biden and Donald Trump—negatively impacts older adults' performance in entrepreneurial tasks and biases external evaluations of ventures led by older entrepreneurs. Findings from these studies will contribute to the entrepreneurship literature by highlighting an identity-based mechanism through which the political environment influences entrepreneurship and by underscoring the complex relationship between age and entrepreneurial activity. This research not only advances theoretical understanding but also offers practical insights for older entrepreneurs, policymakers, and practitioners aiming to foster a more inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Hmaddi, Ouafaa and Alexander Lewis. 2024. "The Biden-Trump election, the salience of age, and its effect on the entrepreneurship of older adults." AEA RCT Registry. April 26.
Experimental Details


Age priming through news article
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Our outcomes of interest areis performance on the venture ideation task and potential entrepreneurial action. We operationalize performance with three variables: the number of ideas generated (num), the feasibility of the idea selected (feas) and the originality of the idea selected (orig), where the second and third variables are measured via raters, as described above. Entrepreneurial action is operationalized as a binary variable measuring whether participants would develop their ideas further or not.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
In the control condition, participants will read an article critical of both Biden’s and Trump’s foreign policy. Similarly, the treatment group will read an age-priming article.
After reading the article, participants will perform a venture ideation task adopted from Warnick et al. (2021). They will read a brief description of an emerging technology (virtual reality), and then they will be asked to write down as many business ideas as they can think of in a two-minute period. Finally, they will be asked to spend three minutes elaborating on what they think is the best of their ideas.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Stratified randomization in office by a computer.
Randomization Unit
Individual participant
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
500 participants
Sample size: planned number of observations
500 participants or more
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
250 or more
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