College Better: Parimutuel Betting Markets as a Commitment Device and Monetary Incentive
Last registered on November 14, 2017

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
College Better: Parimutuel Betting Markets as a Commitment Device and Monetary Incentive
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0002568
Initial registration date
November 13, 2017
Last updated
November 14, 2017 9:57 AM EST
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
University of California Davis
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2018-01-01
End date
2021-06-30
Secondary IDs
Abstract
This project examines the role of commitment and motivation in education by introducing a program called CollegeBetter.com which acts as a commitment device and monetary incentive to improve undergraduate academic performance. The zero-sum mechanism is based off a parimutuel betting market, where students join a pool by placing a monetary wager on themselves to achieve the pool’s “commitment challenge.” Students who successfully commit to the challenge 1) recover their wagers and 2) split losing wagers proportionally. A series of initial surveys and field experiments were conducted at UC Davis from 2015 to 2016 in order to investigate selection into and the effectiveness of the program. Field experiments will be expanded to the University of Hawaii at Manoa starting in 2018.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Carrell, Scott and Lester Lusher. 2017. "College Better: Parimutuel Betting Markets as a Commitment Device and Monetary Incentive." AEA RCT Registry. November 14. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2568/history/23199
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
The program works as follows: Students interested in joining a CollegeBetter pool will complete applications via the CollegeBetter.com website. Approximately half of these subjects will be randomly selected to participate in the pool, while the remaining half will be excluded. At the end of the semester, students who successfully achieve the commitment challenge recover their entry fee and split remaining entry fees for a net profit. An experimental pool will be offered for each semester at the University of Hawaii through the 2020 school year.
Intervention Start Date
2018-01-01
Intervention End Date
2021-06-30
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
At the end of the semester, students transcripts will be accessed directly from the university. Outcomes related to GPA are the primary variables of interest.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
The program works as follows: Students interested in joining a CollegeBetter pool will complete applications via the CollegeBetter.com website. Approximately half of these subjects will be randomly selected to participate in the pool, while the remaining half will be excluded. At the end of the semester, students who successfully achieve the commitment challenge recover their entry fee and split remaining entry fees for a net profit. An experimental pool will be offered for each semester at the University of Hawaii through the 2020 school year.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
All participants will be randomly assigned a unique integer identifier by a computer ranging between one and the number of participants.
Randomization Unit
Randomization is carried out at the participant (student) level.
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
The experiment will be available to the entire University of Hawaii at Manoa campus, without restriction, across several terms. We anticipate several hundred participants for each experimental pool (each term).
Sample size: planned number of observations
The experiment will be available to the entire University of Hawaii at Manoa campus, without restriction, across several terms. We anticipate several hundred participants for each experimental pool (each term).
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Approximately half of the participants will be selected to participate in the CollegeBetter program, while the remaining half will be excluded.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
University of Hawaii IRB
IRB Approval Date
2017-09-26
IRB Approval Number
2017-00562
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