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Does monitoring adversely affect worker performance? Evidence from a natural field experiment
Last registered on January 28, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Does monitoring adversely affect worker performance? Evidence from a natural field experiment
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0003475
Initial registration date
October 22, 2018
Last updated
January 28, 2021 10:08 AM EST
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of Fribourg
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
University of Fribourg
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2018-07-04
End date
2022-03-01
Secondary IDs
Abstract
We conduct a natural field experiment with remote workers to assess potential adverse effects of monitoring.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Herz, Holger and Christian Zihlmann. 2021. "Does monitoring adversely affect worker performance? Evidence from a natural field experiment." AEA RCT Registry. January 28. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.3475-7.0.
Former Citation
Herz, Holger, Christian Zihlmann and Christian Zihlmann. 2021. "Does monitoring adversely affect worker performance? Evidence from a natural field experiment." AEA RCT Registry. January 28. http://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/3475/history/84719.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
A control device is implemented in a natural work environment. We will investigate how workers react to such an implementation of control: Is there a negative behavioural reaction, i.e. do workers lower their effort once control is implemented?

Two groups:
1. Control group - incomplete contract (no control device)
2. Treatment group - contract with a minimum performance requirement (a imperfect control device)
Intervention Start Date
2018-12-10
Intervention End Date
2020-03-12
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Primary outcome is how workers performance is affected by the random assignment to the control and treatment group. Hence, key outcome variable is workers performance. For further details, please refer to the pre-analysis plan.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
For further details, please refer to the pre-analysis plan.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
For further details, please refer to the pre-analysis plan.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Please refer to the pre-analysis plan.
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
The (public) description of the experimental design is kept to its minimum to avoid experimenter demand effects. The (hidden) description will become public once the study is completed and will help you to understand the design in further detail.

In short, in a real labor market, we create two groups: One group receives an incomplete contract and is not subject no any controlling or monitoring device. The other group receives a more complete contract with a minimum performance requirement as a control device. First, all workers are assigned to an incomplete contract (HIT1). In a second stage, workers are assigned to one of the two mentioned groups (HIT2) and perform again a real-effort task.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done by a computer software (Otree).
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
no clustered treatment.
Sample size: planned number of observations
For the calculation of power and the planned number of observations, please refer to the pre-analysis plan.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
For the calculation of power and the planned number of observations, please refer to the pre-analysis plan.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
For the calculation of power and the planned number of observations, please refer to the pre-analysis plan.
Supporting Documents and Materials

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IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Internal Review Board of the Department of Psychology, University of Fribourg
IRB Approval Date
2018-07-02
IRB Approval Number
2018-393
Analysis Plan

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