Gender Difference in Volunteer's Dilemma Game

Last registered on August 31, 2020


Trial Information

General Information

Gender Difference in Volunteer's Dilemma Game
Initial registration date
November 02, 2019

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 04, 2019, 10:17 AM EST

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

Last updated
August 31, 2020, 1:07 PM EDT

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.



Primary Investigator

University of Pittsburgh

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Indian Institute of Management Bangalore

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Volunteering decisions in group settings often involve sacrificing one's part or some personal disadvantage for the benefit of the group. Babcock et al. (2017) show that compared to males, females volunteer more for low-promotability tasks. We extend their design to a laboratory based volunteering game with social recognition and study gender differences in volunteering. The aim of this paper is to examine whether the gender difference in volunteering is mitigated by i) positive social recognition, ii) negative social recognition and iii) both positive and negative social recognition. Our premise rests on the prior that males and females respond differently to positive and negative social recognition for low stake volunteering tasks.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Banerjee, Ritwik and Priyoma Mustafi. 2020. "Gender Difference in Volunteer's Dilemma Game." AEA RCT Registry. August 31.
Experimental Details


Babcock et al. (2017) show women volunteer more for low promotability tasks and are also asked more often to do so. We examine if non-monetary incentives such as social recognition can close the gender gap.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Probability of investing , probability of group investing
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
It is a binary variable which takes the value 1 if one invests in a round and 0 otherwise

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Time taken to volunteer
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The game is played for ten rounds each, in which the participants are randomly and anonymously assigned to groups of three. In each round, the participants are given anywhere between 45 to 90 seconds to decide whether they individually wish to volunteer or invest in a group account, on behalf of the group. They do not exactly know how much time has been allotted to their group. Incentive structure of the game is such that a group member is better off waiting for someone in his/her group to invest.
Our treatments differ in terms of the information given at the end of each period. In our baseline treatment, we give the participants no information about the investor. In the nudge treatment, we just display the player's neutral identity in the group to investigate the effect of a 'nudge'. In the next treatment, fictitious names of the investors are displayed on the participants screens.
Three additional treatments are designed to investigate how social recognition induces investing. Subjects are told that each group will be displayed the names of the investor along with a smiling emoji and publicly congratulated in the positive social recognition treatment. In the negative social recognition treatment, they are told that the names of the two non-investors will be displayed along with a frowning emoji. Finally, in the positive and negative social recognition treatment, both the names of the investor and non-investors are displayed with appropriate emojis. Likelihood of investing is compared across treatments.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done by software ztree (used for laboratory experiments)
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
600 subjects
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
100 by each treatment arms
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials