Barriers in accessing sports: A field experiment at the intersection of sexual orientation and ethnicity

Last registered on June 17, 2024

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Barriers in accessing sports: A field experiment at the intersection of sexual orientation and ethnicity
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0013711
Initial registration date
May 31, 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
June 17, 2024, 3:02 AM EDT

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

Locations

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Primary Investigator

Affiliation
University of Zurich

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Stavanger
PI Affiliation
University of Zurich

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2024-05-15
End date
2024-09-15
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
Discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or sexual orientation is highly persistent in multiple settings. Much research is needed to understand the mechanism behind differential treatment (Bertrand & Duflo, 2017). One of the research areas that require attention is how individuals are affected at the intersection of these traits. In this project, we are interested in the intersection of LGBTQ support and sexual orientation with ethnicity.

We perform a large-scale field experiment in Germany based on a correspondence study. Fictitious applicants contact coaches via email asking to join a trial training with a native- or a foreign-sounding name. The emails are identical, and the response rate to the different groups can provide evidence of discrimination. The experimental design is very similar to previous field experiments we performed in several European countries (Gomez-Gonzalez et al., 2021) and has a twofold aim.

First, we aim to examine if showing support for the LGBTQ movement negatively influences an individual's chance to obtain a response when contacting a sport club. Additionally, we examine if foreign background plays a role in this relationship. Our treatment showing support for the LGBTQ movement is a subtle signal in the signature of the email during pride month.

Second, we aim to examine if signaling homosexuality negatively influences an individual's chance to obtain a response when contacting a sport club. Additionally, we examine if foreign background plays a role in this relationship. Our treatment signals homosexuality by mentioning that the applicant has just moved to the area with a female/male partner.

In total, we contact 6023 amateur sports clubs.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Dietl, Helmut, Carlos Gomez Gonzalez and Cornel Nesseler. 2024. "Barriers in accessing sports: A field experiment at the intersection of sexual orientation and ethnicity." AEA RCT Registry. June 17. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.13711-1.0
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Randomly send information about the LGBTQ support of the applicant.
Randomly send information about the sexual orientation of the applicant.

See the Experimental Design for details.
Intervention Start Date
2024-06-05
Intervention End Date
2024-07-15

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Positive response rate
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
There are 4 potential outcomes: 1) no response, 2) negative response, 3) response with additional questions (how did you find the club, in what position did the applicant play, at what level, etc) or 4) a positive response (invitation to join club). We will code the outcome variable as 1 for the categories 3 and 4, and 0 for categories 1 and 2. The email shows only interest in joining a trial training session and avoids references to further attributes, as in Gomez-Gonzalez et al. (2021)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
We perform a survey before the start of the experiment in which we ask participants to assess: if the names sound foreign, if the names are either female or male, if they associate a religion with the names, and what the average skin color of these names is.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We want to compare the response rate for individuals who contact a sports club. We compare the response rate for individuals with a typical German- and foreign-sounding name. All the clubs in the sample will receive one email only. The content of the email is identical for all clubs except for the names of the applicants and the treatments, which are randomly varied.

Names: The name is either female or male. We use the three names for each group for each nationality. Thus, six names for German-sounding names (three for males and three for females) and six names for each of the three largest foreign groups in Germany: Turkish-, Syrian-, and Ukrainian-sounding names.

Conditions: The English translation of the baseline message is as follows:

Subject: Club membership
Hello,
I recently moved here and would like to join your SPORTS club. I was in a club before I moved and would like to start again. Is it possible to come over?

Thank you
NAME

Treatment 1. We include one treatment with a signal of support for the LGBTQ movement in the signature of the email message. Find the English translation of the message below:

Subject: Club membership
Hello,
I recently moved here and would like to join your SPORTS club. I was in a club before I moved and would like to start again. Is it possible to come over?

Thank you
NAME
----
PrideMonth2024🏳️‍🌈

Treatment 2. We include one treatment with a signal of heterosexuality in the email message. Find the English translation of the message below:

Subject: Club membership
Hello,
I recently moved here with my girlfriend (boyfriend) and would like to join your SPORTS club. I was in a club before I moved and would like to start again. Is it possible to come over?

Thank you
Male name (Female name)

Treatment 3. We include one treatment with a signal of homosexuality in the email message. Find the English translation of the message below:

Subject: Club membership
Hello,
I recently moved here with my boyfriend (girlfriend) and would like to join your SPORTS club. I was in a club before I moved and would like to start again. Is it possible to come over?

Thank you
Male name (Female name)
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
We use block randomization by state and sport. This ensures that individual names are not overrepresented in sports or areas. We use Stata and the set seed command to make the randomization process reproducible.
Randomization Unit
We randomize at the club and regional level.
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
The dataset includes clubs from four different sports. We plan to have around 1500 observations per sport.
Sample size: planned number of observations
The dataset includes 6023 observations: 1504 football clubs, 1512 horse riding clubs, 1504 table tennis clubs, and 1503 tennis clubs.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
For each sport, approximately 1/4 of clubs are assigned to local name, 1/4 of clubs to foreign group 1, 1/4 of clubs to foreign group 2, and 1/4 of clubs to foreign group 3.

For each sport, approximately 1/4 are assigned to the baseline message, 1/4 of clubs to treatment 1, 1/4 of clubs to treatment 2, and 1/4 of clubs to treatment 3.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
We assume that the sample will be evenly split among the four groups and treatments. In a previous study, the response rate for German-sounding names was 0.67 and 0.53 for foreign-sounding names (Gomez-Gonzalez et al., 2021). Assuming a similar response rate for this study, the parameters were the following: significance level α = 0.05, power δ = 0.95, and expected effect size (d) = 0.28. This means we need at least 290 observations for each group. We have four experimental groups: control; treatment 1, treatment 2, and treatment 3. For a basic analysis, we would need 4*290=1160 observations.
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
The Human Subjects Committee of the Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Information Technology at the University of Zurich
IRB Approval Date
2024-04-23
IRB Approval Number
OEC IRB # 2024-045
Analysis Plan

Analysis Plan Documents

Pre-Analysis Plan

MD5: 6da9755f189a9afbd0e18cf078acc82b

SHA1: 836dcca43d876019a50017568a3a90f743112e99

Uploaded At: May 31, 2024