Effect of Manager Race on Worker Effort and Attitudes
Last registered on November 12, 2019


Trial Information
General Information
Effect of Manager Race on Worker Effort and Attitudes
Initial registration date
May 20, 2019
Last updated
November 12, 2019 10:15 AM EST
Primary Investigator
Middlebury College
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
This study looks at the effect of management race and feedback of managers on worker effort and attitudes through an experiment conducted on MTurk.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Abel, Martin. 2019. "Effect of Manager Race on Worker Effort and Attitudes." AEA RCT Registry. November 12. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.4225-1.2000000000000002.
Former Citation
Abel, Martin. 2019. "Effect of Manager Race on Worker Effort and Attitudes." AEA RCT Registry. November 12. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/4225/history/56769.
Experimental Details
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
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 black manager, half a white 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.
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 black of a white supervisor. After the fourth receipt, 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 race. A note on the choice of manager names: One concern with the design is that names are correlated with other attributes than just race. For example, research shows that names are correlated with demographic characteristics such as age, education and income. To account for these potentially confounding facts, we identify both balanced and unbalanced name pairs along these characteristics through an out-of-sample survey in our study population. Addendum (Oct. 10): In addition the the balanced and imbalanced group, we also include a set of names for which there is an "average" difference in education levels between blacks and whites. These include Christine and Jake (white) and Jamal and Lakisha (black). The analysis will look at three groups: balanced, average imbalanced (new group) and very imbalanced (previously called imbalanced). We also replicate results for a new list of balanced names, including Tiffany and Jimmy (white) and Jalen and Tyra (black). Addendum (Nov 12): In order to test the robustness of result and ensure that results are not just driven by particular name parings, we will also add additional name pairings for the: 1) unmatched sample: Dandre, Precious, Nathan, Hannah 2) average matched sample: Deshawn, Lakisha, Chloe, Ethan As a result we have a total 4 name black-white name pairs for each of the 3 categories (matched, unmatched, average matched).
Randomization Method
Randomization is done through the survey software Qualtrics.
Randomization Unit
Individual worker on MTurk.
Was the treatment clustered?
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
1700 white manager, 1700 black manager. Each category (matched, unmatched, average matched) has approx 1100 observations.
For each black and white managers, 60% receive feedback on performance.

Addendum (Oct 10). For the replication exercise (discussed above), we increase the sample to 2700.
Addendum (Nov 12). As we are testing robustness using additional names (discussed above), we increase the sample to 3400.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB Name
Middlebury College IRB
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

There are documents in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access to this information.

Request Information
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Is the intervention completed?
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
Program Files
Program Files
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers