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Making the Most of Limited Government Capacity
Initial registration date
October 06, 2019
October 07, 2019 9:33 AM EDT
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New York University
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
We study how mechanisms that seek to make an optimal use of limited government capacity perform in realistic settings, in which participants need not play according to equilibrium. Our motivating example is that of a tax authority with only limited capacity to perform audits ahead of collection.
The experiment will offer players the opportunity to settle a debt that they owe to a collection authority. The treatments of the experiment will vary the method of collection, settlement offers and information provided to participants about the settlement decisions of others. Registration Citation
We vary the method of collection, the information that players receive about others, and discounts for settling early.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes (end points)
The outcomes we are interested in are total amount collected, total number of settlers and the speed of settlement.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
We will run short sessions (approximately 45 minutes) in which groups play three different treatments. Group sizes will be around 10-15 players.
After running short sessions, we also plan to run longer versions of the experiment. In these longer versions (between 1 day and 1 week), a larger number of players (60-100) will play a single treatment.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization done by computer. Some randomization will be done pre-session.
Across sessions: randomize order of treatments
Within sessions: random matching of players
Within game: random order of parameter change
Was the treatment clustered?
Sample size: planned number of clusters
12 (short) sessions in NYU CESS
3 long sessions
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Each player in the short session plays all 3 treatments, randomly ordered.
3 clusters for large group experiments.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Supporting Documents and Materials
Theory, Design and Instructions
This document includes the main theoretical predictions, experimental design and a sample of instructions.
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
University Committee on Activities Involving Human Subjects
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number