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Luck or Labor? Assessing Generosity Given Knowledge of Peer's Effort
Last registered on January 23, 2018

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Luck or Labor? Assessing Generosity Given Knowledge of Peer's Effort
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0002613
Initial registration date
January 22, 2018
Last updated
January 23, 2018 12:14 PM EST
Location(s)
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Skidmore College
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Skidmore College
PI Affiliation
Skidmore College
PI Affiliation
Skidmore College
PI Affiliation
Skidmore College
PI Affiliation
Skidmore College
Additional Trial Information
Status
Completed
Start date
2017-12-07
End date
2017-12-16
Secondary IDs
Abstract
The U.S is overall a rich country, yet since high-income individuals hold such a great percentage of the wealth, there is still a great deal of poverty and unemployment. Because of this inequality, recent literature in economics has explored how generous individuals are, as this information could be important to understanding how to better distribute the country’s wealth. We propose an experiment that manipulates people's perceptions of how their peers have generated income - either by fortuitous circumstances or from effortful work - in order to observe the impact that this socioeconomic judgement has on donation behavior. We implement a Qualtrics survey on Amazon Mechanical Turk in which participants engage in either a simple luck-based or labor-based task and then are given the opportunity to donate some of their earnings to individuals in a so-described "lower income bracket." We aim to establish how generous individuals are based on their knowledge of others' wages and then see how this decision changes when information about the task that they performed is made known.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Acosta, Edson et al. 2018. "Luck or Labor? Assessing Generosity Given Knowledge of Peer's Effort ." AEA RCT Registry. January 23. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.2613-1.0.
Former Citation
Acosta, Edson et al. 2018. "Luck or Labor? Assessing Generosity Given Knowledge of Peer's Effort ." AEA RCT Registry. January 23. http://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2613/history/25205.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
We implement a Qualtrics survey on Amazon Mechanical Turk in which participants complete a luck-based or work-based task. The performance in this task earns each worker a certain monetary return. After completing the work, participants are given the opportunity to donate some of their money to other participants.
Intervention Start Date
2017-12-07
Intervention End Date
2017-12-16
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Our key outcome variables are the donation amounts as well as the self-reported reasons subjects give for their donation behavior.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
We implement a Qualtrics survey on Amazon Mechanical Turk in which participants complete a luck-based or work-based task. The performance in this task earns each worker a certain monetary return. After completing the work, participants are given the opportunity to donate some of their money to other participants.
Experimental Design Details
Stage I Participants will first be randomly placed in one of two groups: the luck-based group, where the task will consist of guessing some random number, and the work-based group, where subjects will complete a real effort task (moving sliders to the center of a line on a computer screen). Participants will not be aware which group they are placed in, nor told that there is another type of task that differs from the one that they are completing. Participants will be paid a fixed rate per task they complete: participants in the luck-based task will receive 6 cents per correctly guessed number, and those in the skill-based task will receive 6 cents per correctly placed set of sliders. At this point in the in experiment, subjects are told their wage per correct answer but are unaware that there is a disparity in task between subjects. Each participant will be given 10 minutes to complete as many tasks as possible. Participants will be then randomly placed in either the High-Earnings group or Low-Earnings group. Participants in the High-Earnings group will be told that their payoff from the task placed them in the top-50% of earnings acquired and, because of this, they will receive a bonus of $5. They are instructed to press continue to learn more. They will then be directed to Stage II. Participants in the Low-Earnings group will not be told any of this, and will instead be directed to a screen telling them they have finished their task and will be notified once the experiment has been completed in full. Stage II The second stage takes place immediately following the first. For the second stage of the experiment, stage-one participants who were assigned to High-Earnings group will be asked to participate in another experiment that should take less than 5 minutes and gives them the chance to grow their earnings. High-Earnings participants from the first stage will play a dictator game. They will be given a new pot of money, 5 dollars, to do with as they please. They have the option of giving none, some, or all of this $5 to Low-Earnings earners. No donation that they give will be directed to a specific member of the Low-Earnings group. Instead, donations will be pooled together and redistributed to Low-Earnings equally.
Randomization Method
Randomization is done through MTurk. Workers come from a wide range of demographics.
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
120 individuals
Sample size: planned number of observations
120 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
120 individuals
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Supporting Documents and Materials

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Request Information
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Skidmore College Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
2017-11-30
IRB Approval Number
1711-664
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, Papers & Other Materials
Relevant Paper(s)
REPORTS & OTHER MATERIALS