Mentoring program for women economics students
Last registered on October 10, 2018


Trial Information
General Information
Mentoring program for women economics students
Initial registration date
October 09, 2018
Last updated
October 10, 2018 8:38 PM EDT

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Primary Investigator
Behavioural Economics Team of the Australian Government (BETA)
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Behavioural Economics Team of the Australian Government (BETA)
PI Affiliation
Behavioural Economics Team of the Australian Government (BETA)
Additional Trial Information
On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
The aim of this mentoring program is to encourage and motivate more women to continue their studies in economics and be inspired to seek careers as economists. First- and second-year women economics students at an Australian university were be eligible to apply for the program. This research project will evaluate the implementation of the mentoring program and will seek to comment on its impact.

The evaluation of the program implementation will be undertaken through a mixture of survey questions and qualitative research, either focus groups or interviews.

The program's impact will be evaluated through a randomised controlled trial (RCT) however this study does not have sufficient power to have a good chance of detecting an effect, if there is one. Therefore, we are treating this study as a pilot that can inform future, larger-scale RCT evaluations of this program.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Copley, Scott, Scott Copley and Harry Greenwell. 2018. "Mentoring program for women economics students." AEA RCT Registry. October 10.
Experimental Details
The intervention involves participation in a 12-month mentoring program. The aim of the program is to increase the propensity for mentees to complete economic studies and pursue a career in economics. Mentors are professional, mid-level or senior, women economists. The program is intended to comprise 4 meetings over 12 months but is likely to vary. We will measure differences in ‘dosage’ through surveys of mentors and/or mentees.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
We will use four closely related primary outcome variables to detect the propensity for students to complete economic studies.
• Intention to proceed to next year of econ studies (survey data, 5-point Likert scale)
• Intention to complete an economics major (survey data, 5-point Likert scale)
• Proportion who proceed to next year of econ studies in 2020 (admin data, based on enrolments in compulsory 2nd or 3rd year economics courses)
• Proportion who complete an economics major (admin data)
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
We will also analyse results for the following mediator variables that, we assume, should drive the ultimate (primary) outcomes sought by the mentoring program:
• Attractiveness of a career based on economics qualifications (ie, at least an economics major),
• Perceived breadth of career options available to economics graduates, and
• Perceived level of interest and relevance of economics studies.
As noted above, we will also capture various subjective outcomes including confidence, knowledge and satisfaction with economics.
See the baseline survey – attached to the pre-analysis plan – for details of how survey based outcomes will be measured.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
This is a two-arm, stratified design. We stratified on three binary variables:
• Year group (ie, we separated 1st year and 2nd year students),
• Domestic/international student status, and
• Degree of study (enrolled in a Bachelor of Economics, or not)..
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Within each stratum, we randomised using simple randomization using a random number generator. A fixed proportion (5/8) of students were assigned to treatment - the mentoring program - with the remainder assigned to control. The fixed proportion was determined by the number of available mentors (55) divided by the number of applicants (88).
Randomization Unit
The unit of randomisation was the individual.
Was the treatment clustered?
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
88 individuals
Sample size: planned number of observations
88 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
55 in treatment, 33 in control
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
This is a pilot study and is not powered to detect plausible effect sizes, if the program does in fact have an effect.
IRB Name
ANU Human Research Ethics Committee
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Human Ethics Protocol 2018/513
IRB Name
ANU Human Research Ethics Committee
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Human Ethics Protocol 2018/513