Can simple advice eliminate the gender gap in willingness to compete?

Last registered on November 19, 2018

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Can simple advice eliminate the gender gap in willingness to compete?
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0003487
Initial registration date
November 13, 2018

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
November 19, 2018, 11:17 PM EST

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Lund University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
DIW Berlin and Humboldt University

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2018-11-15
End date
2019-12-01
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Starting from Niederle and Vesterlund (2007), a large number of lab experiments report that men are more likely to enter tournaments. We aim to test whether advising women to compete more and advising men to compete less decreases the gender gap in willingness to compete. We use three different forms of advice that emphasize the role of competitiveness, risk preferences and overconfidence respectively. We will investigate both the average effect across the three forms, and the effect of each form on its own.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
, and Roel van Veldhuizen. 2018. "Can simple advice eliminate the gender gap in willingness to compete?." AEA RCT Registry. November 19. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.3487
Former Citation
, and Roel van Veldhuizen. 2018. "Can simple advice eliminate the gender gap in willingness to compete?." AEA RCT Registry. November 19. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/3487/history/37572
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2018-11-15
Intervention End Date
2018-11-22

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
The effect of advice on tournament entry
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
The effect of advice on tournament entry is computed by subtracting the choice made prior to receiving advice (1-tournament, 0-piece rate) from the choice made after receiving advice.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Elicited beliefs, risk preferences, non-competitive price list, efficiency
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
See the pre-analysis plan

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We aim to test whether advising women to compete more and advising men to compete less decreases the gender gap in willingness to compete. We use three different forms of advice and will investigate both the average effect across the three forms, and the effect of each form on its own.
Experimental Design Details
Our experiment closely follows the design of Niederle and Vesterlund (2007). In round one, participants solve addition problems for four minutes under piece rate incentives (50 cents per correct answer). In round two, participants solve addition problems under tournament pay (1 Euro per correct answer if they beat another person from the session).

In round three, participants can choose between the two forms of payment prior to working on the task. After making their initial decision, we present participants with the advice that previous research has found that women compete too little and men compete too much, in the sense that women (men), on average, would have earned more money if they had been more (less) willing to compete. We then give participants the opportunity to revise their initial decision.

Participants then go through a belief elicitation task, a non-competitive price list and a risk preference elicitation. The belief elicitation task uses a variation of the Karni (2009) method to elicit participants' subjective probability of winning a tournament in round 2. The non-competitive price list task is taken from Van Veldhuizen (2018, working paper). The risk preference task is taken from Gneezy and Potters (1997). Finally, participants go through a brief questionnaire that includes gender, some additional demographics, a qualitative measure of confidence and risk preferences, and some open questions regarding the nature of the experiment.

An overview of the experiment is given below. We run three treatments that differ only in the content of the message in (4). The competitiveness treatment emphasizes that in previous research men compete too much and women too little. The risk preference treatment emphasizes that women take too few risks and men too many. And the belief treatment emphasizes that men are too confident and women not confident enough.

1. Round 1: Piece rate
2. Round 2: Tournament
3. Round 3a: Initial Choice between Piece rate and tournament (Control)
4. Treatment screen
5. Round 3b: Possibility to revise the choice from (3a)
6. Non-Competitive Price List
7. Belief Elicitation
8. Gneezy/Potters measure
9. Questionnaire (demographics, open questions, subjective risk/confidence measures)

References:
Gneezy, Uri, and Jan Potters. 1997. “An Experiment on Risk Taking and Evaluation Periods.” The Quarterly Journal of Economics 112 (2): 631–45. doi:10.1162/003355397555217.
Karni, Edi. 2009. “A Mechanism for Eliciting Probabilities.” Econometrica 77 (2): 603–6. doi:10.3982/ECTA7833.
Van Veldhuizen, R., 2018. "Gender Differences in Tournament Choices: Risk Preferences, Overconfidence, or Competitiveness?" Working paper.
Randomization Method
Randomization done by the computer
Randomization Unit
Treatments are randomized within-session at the individual level.
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
360 (estimated)
Sample size: planned number of observations
360 (estimated). We will stop running sessions once we reach the desired sample size, provide we obtain data for at least 160 men and 160 women.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
120 (estimated)
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
The minimum detectable effect size is a 15 percentage point difference between men and women in the effect of advice. This gives us a power of at least .838; more details are presented in the attached power calculations file.
Supporting Documents and Materials

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IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
WZB Research Ethics Committee
IRB Approval Date
2018-10-26
IRB Approval Number
2018/4/49
Analysis Plan

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Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
No
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