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Wage Expectations and Selection Neglect
Last registered on August 20, 2019

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Wage Expectations and Selection Neglect
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0004580
Initial registration date
August 15, 2019
Last updated
August 20, 2019 10:59 AM EDT
Location(s)

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Request Information
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
DIW Berlin
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2019-09-01
End date
2021-03-01
Secondary IDs
Abstract
This study uses a survey experiment to examine if wage expectations are affected by selection neglect bias. The intervention consists of two information treatments about average wage gaps. It additionally features a control group that reports wage expectations in the absence of any treatment. Randomization is conducted at the individual level and implemented via computerized assignment as part of a CAPI survey. The target sample size is N=970, with approx. 320 individuals in each of the two treatment groups and the control group. The experiment is embedded in the GSOEP Innovation Survey and is implemented by Kantar Public (formerly Infratest).
Registration Citation
Citation
Schrenker, Annekatrin. 2019. "Wage Expectations and Selection Neglect." AEA RCT Registry. August 20. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.4580-1.0.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
The study consists of two separate information treatments about average wage gaps. There are two treatment groups, the first treatment only informs about the existing average pay differential whereas the second treatment also gives a hint about the selection effects that drive the average pay gap. The intervention additionally features one control group that receives no information treatment.
Intervention Start Date
2019-09-30
Intervention End Date
2020-03-01
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
average expected wage gap (in percent),
average expected wage level (in Euros),
changes in the distribution of expected wages across treatment
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
baseline awareness of selectivity,
heterogeneity in wage expectations and responsiveness of treatment by potential baseline awareness
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
The experimental data will be supplemented with data from a different subsample of the GSOEP innovation survey that also reports expected wages but receives no randomized information treatment about average wage gaps and is hence comparable to the control group. Baseline awareness of selectivity in this group is measured by the estimated average wage gap within own occupation and the estimated wage changes for an average worker switching employment status within occupation (asymmetry). For this subsample, some related questions were already surveyed in previous waves (2016-2018) and for some analyses we may pool the data to achieve higher power.

Furthermore, the GSOEP innovation sample data are supplemented with background information from the Structure of Earnings Survey (German National Statistical Office, N>1,000,000) about occupational differences in wages, working hours, socio-demographics etc. The purpose of this exercise is to analyze heterogenous treatment effects for different potential baseline awareness about wage gaps across occupations.
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
The survey experiment is embedded in the GSOEP Innovation Survey, an annual longitudinal household study that is representative of German households. Interviews are conducted face-to-face, where the interviewer typically reads out the questions from a computer screen (CAPI). For this survey experiment, all respondents of the 2019 wave that are in regular employment will be randomly allocated to either control group or one of the two treatment groups via computerized assignment. All subjects are asked to report their expected wage for a hypothetical change of employment type. To aid respondents in their assessment, everyone receives an estimate of their current hourly wage, which is calculated based on reported monthly income and working hours. Before wage expectations are retrieved, the two treatment groups receive an information treatment about average wage differentials.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
computerized algorithm within a CAPI survey
Randomization Unit
individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
0
Sample size: planned number of observations
970 workers (survey respondents in regular full- or part-time employment excluding self-employed, civil servants and ages<18 or >65, expecting 30% item non-response in the main outcome)
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
323 workers control, 323 workers in treatment 1, 323 workers in treatment 2
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
SOEP Survey Committee
IRB Approval Date
2019-06-16
IRB Approval Number
N/A