Social Identity and Incentive Structures in Teams
Last registered on January 22, 2018


Trial Information
General Information
Social Identity and Incentive Structures in Teams
Initial registration date
March 31, 2017
Last updated
January 22, 2018 12:34 PM EST

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Primary Investigator
University of Warwick
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
The project focuses on the effects of social identity in combination with different economic incentives on outcomes like effort, cooperation and overall productivity. In particular, it aims to test whether common social identity in teams/ work-groups affects the relative effectiveness of cooperative versus competitive based incentives. In addition, we aim to explore the mechanisms by which this arises: e.g. more salient other-regarding social norms/moral preferences.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Yeo, Jonathan. 2018. "Social Identity and Incentive Structures in Teams." AEA RCT Registry. January 22.
Experimental Details
The study will consist of a laboratory experiment of which participants are recruited from the University's behavioural research platform.
They will be paid for turning up as well as their performance in a real effort task. Overall, we have a 2 X 2 treatment design.
Participants will be assigned a group identity according to their relative preferences over 5 pairs of Klee and Kandinsky paintings, with salience increased via a discussion on the artist of the 6th painting. They will then be assigned to teams which are either heterogeneous or homogeneous in group identity. Each team will then be randomly subject to a tournament or team incentive scheme where they complete a real effort task with some cooperative possibility.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
The key outcomes variables are effort, cooperation and overall productivity.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Effort will be calculated by looking at the time taken to complete each unit of the effort task. Cooperation will be examined by looking at the proportion whom choose to help others during the task. Productivity is calculated by looking at the final scores in the real effort task.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary outcome variables: 1) measurements of participants' moral and social norms regarding cooperation. 2) Type of helper they are in the experiment.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
1) Moral and social norms will be constructed via factor analysis on several survey questions administered. 2) Their classification into types of helpers will be obtained from a survey question which asks them about how they would respond to others on their team cooperating.
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
The experimental design consists of two parts. The first part consists of assigning group identity among participants and making it salient. The second part consists of a real-effort task in teams which have different compositions of participants from the groups. There will be an element of cooperation in the real-effort task. Teams will be assigned a random incentive structure: a tournament or team scheme.
All participants are then required to fill in a post-experiment questionnaire.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization into different treatment groups by software.
Randomization Unit
Randomization unit is the individual participant
Was the treatment clustered?
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
>=360 individuals
Sample size: planned number of observations
>=360 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
>=90 in homogeneous teams, tournament incentives
>=90 in homogeneous teams, team incentives
>=90 in heterogeneous teams, tournament incentives
>=90 in heterogeneous teams, team incentives
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number