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Testing for ethnic discrimination within the Czech Social Security system
Last registered on November 08, 2019


Trial Information
General Information
Testing for ethnic discrimination within the Czech Social Security system
Initial registration date
November 08, 2019
Last updated
November 08, 2019 10:13 AM EST

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Primary Investigator
Department of Economics, Faculty of Law, Charles University
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Department of Economics, Masaryk University
Additional Trial Information
In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
This correspondence experiment tests for potential discriminatory treatment by employees of the Social Security Service in the Czech Republic, specifically the public servants dealing with unemployment benefits. Our focus is on potential differential treatment of Roma minority versus the Czech majority. Roma people are one of the largest ethnic minorities in the Czech Republic (1.5-3%) as well as in the EU. According to the European Commission (2010), a significant part of 10-12 million Roma in Europe live in extreme marginalization. Differential treatment by public officials, if any, may reinforce the repercussions of existing discrimination of Roma in private markets (see e.g. BartoŇ° et al. 2016). At the same time, the experiment will test for potentially positive discrimination of minorities by public servants (a commonly held belief in the Czech Republic).
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Mikula, Stepan and Josef Montag. 2019. "Testing for ethnic discrimination within the Czech Social Security system." AEA RCT Registry. November 08. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.4873-1.0.
Experimental Details
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
The primary outcome will be a binary variable (Yes, No) for receiving a response to the query. Second, we will measure the time to respond. Third, we will measure the courteousness and informativeness of the responses.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Courteousness and informativeness will be measured using two independent evaluators. The scale will have three levels (-1, 0, 1), zero for neutral, one for courteous/informative, minus one for non-informative/non-courteous. If the evaluators disagree on how to code a particular response, this will be flagged and evaluated by the researchers.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
This is a correspondence experiment.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Computer (R version 3.6.1. functions "sample", package base, and "sample_n", package dply, set.seed(42)).
Randomization Unit
All offices with a single unemployment benefits specialist will be included. Within each local branch of the Czech Social Security Service with more than one unemployment benefits specialists, one-half of unemployment benefits specialists, but no more than three in each branch, will be randomly selected to receive our emails.
Was the treatment clustered?
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
457 employees from 198 local offices.
Sample size: planned number of observations
457 subjects * 3 emails, giving 1371 observations.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Each unemployment benefits specialist included in this study (457 public servants from 198 local branches) will receive three emails from us. Four types of emails will be sent, with two different signals of ethnicity (Roma, Czech) and two signals of educational attainment (low education, normal education). In the first emails, each type will have a sampling probability of 0.25. The second email will differ (for each subject) in the ethnicity signal (the education signal will be kept constant). In the third email, we will change the education level (for each subject), the ethnicity signal will vary randomly between subjects.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number