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Gender Peer Effects in University
Last registered on August 06, 2019

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Gender Peer Effects in University
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0004392
Initial registration date
August 06, 2019
Last updated
August 06, 2019 11:55 AM EDT
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of Zurich
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2019-09-01
End date
2021-01-01
Secondary IDs
Abstract
This study examines the impact of peers, especially their genders and gender attitudes, on college students' educational expectation, performance, and persistence. Students in an economics course, who voluntarily sign up for a study group, are randomly assigned into groups of four. I will investigate if peers' gender and gender-related characteristics create academic spillover effects (i.e., impact on others' grades and educational choices). By comparing measurements in the baseline and endline, I can also investigate the change of expectations and beliefs, which is potentially an important mechanism of academic spillover effects.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Shan, Xiaoyue. 2019. "Gender Peer Effects in University." AEA RCT Registry. August 06. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.4392-1.0.
Former Citation
Shan, Xiaoyue. 2019. "Gender Peer Effects in University." AEA RCT Registry. August 06. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/4392/history/51340.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2019-09-19
Intervention End Date
2019-12-31
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
(1) Expectations and beliefs about own ability and education outcomes;
(2) Final scores and grades in the course and other courses;
(3) Dropout, major choice, and degree completion.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Final education expectations and beliefs will be measured in the endline survey; other outcome variables will be acquired from university administrative data.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
(1) Evaluation of peers;
(2) Social network formation.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
The outcomes will be constructed from relevant questions in the endline survey (or longer-term follow-up surveys).
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
The experiment will randomly assign students (who voluntarily sign up for study groups) into groups of four.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
The study group randomization will conducted by the principal investigator using the computer program STATA.
Randomization Unit
The randomization takes place at the individual level, but stratified at the broad level of study programs (e.g., economics and computer science).
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
The number of study groups (each group has four students) depends on the sign-up rate. Given 50% sign-up rate, the total number of groups is approximately 125; given 30% sign-up rate, the total number of groups is around 75.
Sample size: planned number of observations
The number of students depends on the sign-up rate. Given 50% sign-up rate, the total number of students is around 500; given 30% sign-up rate, the total number of students is around 300.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
The randomization doesn't create obvious treatment group and control group. The peer effect is identified by comparing the composition of peers across groups.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Using data from a pilot study in the Fall Semester 2018 and Monte Carlo simulations, I find that: If the total number of students who sign up for study groups is 300, I can detect a gender peer effect (the impact of one extra female peer on standardized scores) equal to 16% standard deviation, with a significance level of 5% and 80% power. If the total number of students is 400 (600), I can detect a gender peer effect equal to 14% (12%) standard deviation, with a significance level of 5% and 80% power.
Supporting Documents and Materials

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IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
University of Zurich
IRB Approval Date
2019-07-29
IRB Approval Number
OEC IRB # 2019-030
Analysis Plan

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