Inter-team status competition for ride sharing: A large-scale field experiment at DiDi
Last registered on November 07, 2018

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Inter-team status competition for ride sharing: A large-scale field experiment at DiDi
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0003537
Initial registration date
November 06, 2018
Last updated
November 07, 2018 12:11 AM EST
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of Michigan
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
University of Michigan
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2018-10-19
End date
2019-01-18
Secondary IDs
Abstract
While the gig economy benefits workers with autonomy and flexibility, the lack of strong identities from work and bonds with colleagues can lead to low productivity and higher attrition compared to those working in traditional organizations. To address these problems, we conduct a randomized field experiment which uses recommender systems to build driver teams and introduce team contest in DiDi Chuxing, the largest ride sharing company in the world. Our goal is to evaluate the extent to which contest effect on productivity and driver retention can be maintained post contest, by using a team leaderboard. Our evaluation will be conducted using a three-phase randomized field experiment.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Chen, Yan and Qiaozhu Mei. 2018. "Inter-team status competition for ride sharing: A large-scale field experiment at DiDi." AEA RCT Registry. November 07. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/3537/history/36889
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
In collaboration with DiDi, we will send out text messages telling drivers in four cities that they can participate in a team contest. The drivers can choose to participate or opt out. If they opt out, they will not receive further messages. If they opt in, they will participate in the following multi-phase field experiment:

Phase 0: team formation (one week): Drivers will join teams using the Didi team app.

Phase 1: warm-up contest (one week): The experimenter assigns teams to contests, each of which consists of five teams. The contest runs for seven days. At the end of the week, the team with the highest cumulative revenue wins the cash prize, whereas the four losing teams receive no prize. The winning prize is kept constant within the same city, and adjusted based on city-average driver revenue across cities.

The social information regarding the daily revenue of each driver and the corresponding ranking within a team, similar statistics of competing teams are accessible through the app as within-team and within-contest leaderboards.

Phase 2: leaderboard (three weeks): This phase is designed to maintain team identity in the treatment, but not in the control. The intervention is limited to social information, without monetary incentives. It will last for three weeks. Prior to the start of phase 2, within each city, the experimenter sorts leaderboards in descending order of their total revenue during the 14 days prior to the start of the experiment, and group each 9 consecutive leaderboards into a stratum. Within each stratum, the 9 leaderboards are randomly assigned to each of the three experimental conditions, including the control group, the placebo group, and the leaderboard treatment group.

Phase 3: surprise contest (one week): After the second phase, every team is again called to participate in a surprise week-long contest for a cash prize, as in the first stage. This contest has not been announced before. This phase is designed to evaluate the effects of the leaderboard on team identity and productivity. Everything remains the same as in the warm-up contest.

Phase 4: post-experiment survey: At the end of the three contest phases, the drivers will each receive a survey which evaluates their sense of belonging to their team as well as to the organization (DiDi).
Intervention Start Date
2018-10-29
Intervention End Date
2018-12-07
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
driver's daily revenue, hours worked, whether a team wins the warm-up contest or the surprise contest
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
N/A
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
whether a driver volunteers to be a team captain, a driver's sense of belonging to his team and to the organization, a driver's satisfaction with the contest and with his team
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
In collaboration with DiDi, we will send out text messages telling drivers in four cities that they can participate in a team contest. The drivers can choose to participate or opt out. If they opt out, they will not receive further messages. If they opt in, they will participate in the following multi-phase field experiment:

Phase 0: team formation (one week): Drivers will join teams using the Didi team app.

Phase 1: warm-up contest (one week): The experimenter assigns teams to contests, each of which consists of five teams. The contest runs for seven days. At the end of the week, the team with the highest cumulative revenue wins the cash prize, whereas the four losing teams receive no prize. The winning prize is kept constant within the same city, and adjusted based on city-average driver revenue across cities.

The social information regarding the daily revenue of each driver and the corresponding ranking within a team, similar statistics of competing teams are accessible through the app as within-team and within-contest leaderboards.

Phase 2: leaderboard (three weeks): This phase is designed to maintain team identity in the treatment, but not in the control. The intervention is limited to social information, without monetary incentives. It will last for three weeks. Prior to the start of phase 2, within each city, the experimenter sorts leaderboards in descending order of their total revenue during the 14 days prior to the start of the experiment, and group each 9 consecutive leaderboards into a stratum. Within each stratum, the 9 leaderboards are randomly assigned to each of the three experimental conditions, including the control group, the placebo group, and the leaderboard treatment group.

Phase 3: surprise contest (one week): After the second phase, every team is again called to participate in a surprise week-long contest for a cash prize, as in the first stage. This contest has not been announced before. This phase is designed to evaluate the effects of the leaderboard on team identity and productivity. Everything remains the same as in the warm-up contest.

Phase 4: post-experiment survey: At the end of the three contest phases, the drivers will each receive a survey which evaluates their sense of belonging to their team as well as to the organization (DiDi).
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
a driver team
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
375 - 564 teams in each city
Sample size: planned number of observations
4,000 drivers in each city; 16,000 drivers in total
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
188 teams in each arm
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Please see pages 5-6 in the pdf file.
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
University of Michigan IRB
IRB Approval Date
2018-06-29
IRB Approval Number
HUM00149068