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De-Biasing Financial Biases: Experimental Evidence from South Africa
Last registered on January 15, 2014

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
De-Biasing Financial Biases: Experimental Evidence from South Africa
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0000219
Initial registration date
January 15, 2014
Last updated
January 15, 2014 2:47 PM EST
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
The World Bank
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Harvard Kennedy School
PI Affiliation
Harvard Business School
Additional Trial Information
Status
Completed
Start date
2011-07-04
End date
2012-11-20
Secondary IDs
Abstract
We test the effectiveness of experiential learning as a debiasing tool against lotteries and gambling, where individuals often overestimate small-scale probabilities. Simple dice games were developed to highlight the concept of probability with respondents themselves experiencing the difficulty of simultaneously rolling identical numbers across an increasing number of dice. The variation in number of tries it took for respondents to roll identical numbers offers additional randomness in the intensity of treatment. Our outcome measures include immediate, intermediate, and long-term choices in lottery offers (by a third party), and actual spending on lotteries and gambling measured through surveys.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Abel, Martin, Shawn Cole and Bilal Zia. 2014. "De-Biasing Financial Biases: Experimental Evidence from South Africa." AEA RCT Registry. January 15. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.219-1.0.
Former Citation
Abel, Martin, Shawn Cole and Bilal Zia. 2014. "De-Biasing Financial Biases: Experimental Evidence from South Africa." AEA RCT Registry. January 15. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/219/history/926.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Experiential games to debias against playing lotteries/gambling and highlight the concept of probability.
Intervention Start Date
2011-10-03
Intervention End Date
2012-04-30
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Choices in lottery offers and actual spending on lottery and gambling
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Randomized at the individual level
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomized in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
820 individuals
Sample size: planned number of observations
820 individuals over three rounds of surveys
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Half treatment, half control
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Harvard Business School
IRB Approval Date
2011-05-03
IRB Approval Number
F20483-101 and 102 (renewal)
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers