Worker Preferences Over Monitoring
Last registered on January 11, 2019

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Worker Preferences Over Monitoring
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0003595
Initial registration date
November 23, 2018
Last updated
January 11, 2019 4:47 AM EST
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of Erlangen-Nuremberg
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
University of Erlangen-Nuremberg
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2018-11-23
End date
2019-12-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Using an online experiment with crowdworkers, we investigate the workers’ willingness to pay to avoid monitoring. In the experiment, workers face the choice between a default version of a task and an alternative. Workers are informed that both versions require identical effort. Workers state their willingness to pay for switching from the default to the alternative version of the task, and then perform the task. In the control group, the instructions do not touch the issue of monitoring. In contrast, workers in the treatment group are informed that the default option is a version including monitoring. We test if the treatment shifts workers’ willingness to pay to switch to the alternative version of the task.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Hardt, David and Johannes Rincke. 2019. "Worker Preferences Over Monitoring." AEA RCT Registry. January 11. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/3595/history/40107
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
We inform workers of a German crowdworking platform who are about to work on a task that their activities on the website will be subject to close monitoring. We compare the willingess to pay to avoid being monitored to a control group of workers who do receive any information with respect to monotoring of workers' activities.
Intervention Start Date
2018-11-23
Intervention End Date
2019-06-30
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Willingness to pay (WTP) to avoid monitoring. The total effect will be identified using as an outcome the stated WTP to switch to the alternative version of the task. The extensive margin response will be identified using as an outcome an indicator for a strictly positive WTP.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
WTP to avoid monitoring. The total effect will be identified using as an outcome the stated WTP to switch to the alternative version of the task. The extensive margin response will be identified using as an outcome an indicator for a strictly positive WTP.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
In order to test if the treatment shifts the perceived difficulty of the tasks, we consider as secondary outcomes survey responses on the perceived difficulty of the default and the alternative version of the task. The survey is implemented twice, before and after the subjects state their WTP. In order to test if the treatment shifts subjects’ behaviour once they work on the task, we consider as secondary outcomes measures for the extent to which subjects successfully complete the task (clicking dice showing a given number). Such measures will include an indicator for subjects successfully completing all rounds of the tasks and the share of rounds solved correctly.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
We run the experiment on a German crowdworking platform. The subjects are registered workers and are not informed about the fact that they participate in an experiment. The experiment is framed as a regular task concerned with the framing and presentation of online minijobs. We inform workers that they can choose between two different versions of a task, a default version and an alternative. In the treatment group, workers are informed that if they perform the default version of the task, they will be subject to close monitoring. In the control group, no information regarding monitoring is provided. Applying the BDM method, we then elicit workers’ WTP for switching to the alternative version of the task. Workers then work on the task selected by the mechanism.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
On-the-fly randomization using python. Randomization into treatment and control takes place once workers arrive at the web page hosting the experiment.
Randomization Unit
Individual worker
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
We do not cluster the randomization, implying that the number of clusters is equal to the number of observations (workers).
Sample size: planned number of observations
We ran pilots to test the functionality of our webpage and to estimate the parameters for a power calculation. Based on these pilots, we estimate the required sample size for a two-sample means test (power 0.8, alpha 0.05) to lie in the range of 150 to 500 subjects. We note that the power calculations based on the pilots are quite imprecise in terms of required sample sizes. This is due to the high share of workers stating a WTP of zero (up to 70% in some subgroups), leading to imprecise estimations of the standard deviation of the stated WTP.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Symmetric sample sizes between treatment and control, meaning 75 to 250 subjects (workers) in treatment and control.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
From our pilots (with limit sample size), we estimate the SD of the WTP in the control group to be around 0.1. Assuming a maximum sample size of 500 workers and symmetric treatment groups and based on a two-means test, we estimate the minimum detectable effect size from a linear model for the WTP (unit: Euro) to be about 50% of the control group mean.
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Ethics Committee at the School of Business and Economics at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg
IRB Approval Date
2018-05-29
IRB Approval Number
N/A
Analysis Plan

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