The effect of winning an oil lease lottery on the winner

Last registered on October 07, 2019


Trial Information

General Information

The effect of winning an oil lease lottery on the winner
Initial registration date
September 11, 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
September 16, 2019, 2:05 PM EDT

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

Last updated
October 07, 2019, 12:52 PM EDT

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



Primary Investigator

Texas A&M University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Oberlin College

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
We will study a pre-existing natural policy experiment from the 1970's and 1980's where oil and gas leases in Wyoming BLM land were allocated via lottery. We will examine the effect that winning a lottery has on lottery winners. One outcome variables we will examine is whether the winner ever appears later on as a lease holder for any other Wyoming BLM land and/or whether the winner appears as a well operator in Wyoming. We will examine this separately for lottery entrants that were firms and lottery entrants that were individuals. The second outcome variable we will examine is whether the lottery entrant participated in M&A activity -- e.g., whether it merged with another firm. This will only be examined for lottery entrants that are firms.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Brehm, Paul and Eric Lewis. 2019. "The effect of winning an oil lease lottery on the winner." AEA RCT Registry. October 07.
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
(1) Whether the entrant appears later on as a lease holder in any other BLM leases
This will be done separately for entrants who are individuals and entrants who are firms
(2) Whether the entrant appears later on in any M&A activity
This will only be done for firms
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Natural experiment -- lottery of oil and gas leases on BLM land in Wyoming in the 1970's.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization Unit
lottery entrant (individuals and firms)
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
approximately 30,000 lottery entrants are observed.

We only observe 30,000 lottery entrants over about 10,000 leases. This is because the BLM recorded the name of the first-place winner and the second- and third-place runner ups (in case the first-place winner was unable to claim the lottery). Other entrants are not observed in the data.
Sample size: planned number of observations
approximately 30,000 lottery entrants
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
approximately 10,000 lottery entrants won (treated); approximately 20,000 lottery entrants lost (control).
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