Effect of Manager Gender on Worker Effort and Attitudes

Last registered on July 09, 2019

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Effect of Manager Gender on Worker Effort and Attitudes
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0003810
Initial registration date
January 23, 2019
Last updated
July 09, 2019, 9:02 AM EDT

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Middlebury College

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

Status
Completed
Start date
2019-01-25
End date
2019-05-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
This study looks at the effect of management gender and feedback of managers on worker effort and attitudes through an experiment conducted on MTurk.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Abel, Martin. 2019. "Effect of Manager Gender on Worker Effort and Attitudes." AEA RCT Registry. July 09. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.3810-2.0
Former Citation
Abel, Martin and Martin Abel. 2019. "Effect of Manager Gender on Worker Effort and Attitudes." AEA RCT Registry. July 09. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/3810/history/49546
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2019-01-25
Intervention End Date
2019-02-28

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Measures of effort / productivity: details provided in pre-analysis plan.
Measures of attitude: details provided in pre-analysis plan.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Details provided in pre-analysis plan.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
In this randomized control trial, we have two main stages of randomization through a factorial design: half of workers are assigned a female manager, half a male manager. We then provide 60% of each group with performance feedback. The other 40% does not receive any feedback and will thus serve as the control group for the feedback treatment (more details in pre-analysis plan).
Experimental Design Details
We design a simple transcription task on MTurk. We ask workers to assess whether the receipt is legible and, if so, transcribe each item and the price. In addition, we ask them to add up all numbers as a voluntary task.
Participants are randomly assigned the name of either a female of a male supervisor.
After transcribing four receipts, 60% of participants are randomly assigned to receive feedback on their previous performance. Specifically, the assigned manager informs them about whether they are above or below average. Participants then continue transcribing three additional receipts. The group that does not receive any feedback serves as the control group.
Afterwards, we collect attitude outcomes such as whether they are interested in working for us again in the future and how much they agree with statements such as “The feedback I received was accurate.”
We then debrief participants about the specifics of the research question (the HIT mentioned performance will be recorded for research purposes) and invite them to complete a short survey in which we collect demographic characteristics as well as a test that assesses the implicit bias that participants hold with regard to gender and career.

A note on the choice of manager names:
One concern with the design is that names are correlated with other attributes than just gender. For example, research shows that names are correlated with demographic characteristics such as age, education, income and race.
To account for these potentially confounding facts, we identify names that are balanced across these characteristics through an out-of-sample survey in our study population. In particular, we first identify a list of female and male first names associated with certain income levels. We then administer a survey in which we ask people to assess the age, education, and race they associate with the same (without having any additional information). Based on this data we select pairs of names so that the average perceived education, age and race is balanced by gender.
Randomization Method
Randomization is done through the survey software Qualtrics.
Randomization Unit
Individual worker on MTurk.
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
N/A
Sample size: planned number of observations
2,600 workers. This sample is pooled with the sample of a companion project that explores the effect of manager race (see AEARCTR-0004225)
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
1300 are assigned to each female and male manager.
For each female and male managers, 60% receive feedback on performance.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Main effect: 0.11 std. dev. Interaction term in 2 x 2 design: 0.16 std. dev.
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Middlebury College IRB
IRB Approval Date
2018-12-07
IRB Approval Number
18115
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