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Gift Exchange at Work
Last registered on September 21, 2018


Trial Information
General Information
Gift Exchange at Work
Initial registration date
November 23, 2014
Last updated
September 21, 2018 1:37 PM EDT
Primary Investigator
Harvard University
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
University of Chicago
PI Affiliation
University of California, Berkeley
PI Affiliation
University of California, Berkeley
Additional Trial Information
On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
We construct a model of a worker's effort choice that includes altruism, warm glow and reciprocity towards employers, as well as the standard cost of effort and monetary incentive motives. We estimate the model using a natural field experiment with temporary workers. We design the experiment so as to structurally estimate the key parameters, using variation in pay schemes and the returns to the employers. Here, we register the analysis plan, including the fully specified structural model.

Update Sep 2018: We add to the registry as an attachment (in the Analysis Plan as well as in the Docs sections) a pre-registration of a follow-up experiment with a new, between-subjects design. This new experiment is entering the field towards the end of September 2018. We anticipate combining both the previously registered and completed experiment as well as the new pre-registered experiment in the same paper.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
DellaVigna, Stefano et al. 2018. "Gift Exchange at Work." AEA RCT Registry. September 21. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.502-4.0.
Former Citation
DellaVigna, Stefano et al. 2018. "Gift Exchange at Work." AEA RCT Registry. September 21. http://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/502/history/34619.
Experimental Details
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Effort exerted by workers in each session, measured as the number of envelopes stuffed (in each 20 minute session).
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
We hire temporary workers for a single day's employment, and within the day vary pay and other features of the work within subject (across different sessions) and between subjects.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization of treatment ordering by computer before start of experiment. More details in attachment, which becomes available after the end of the experiment
Randomization Unit
Individual level randomization and random ordering of treatments (i.e. randomization at the session level). Full details in the attachment, which becomes publicly available after the experiment is conducted.
Was the treatment clustered?
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Approximately 320 subjects, which might vary slightly due to unpredictable variation in no-shows by the invited potential workers. Of course, workers do not know their treatment status before showing up. While gift treatment varies at individual level, we can cluster standard errors at the experimental session level in the analysis.
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Approx 90 workers in each of treatment arm. Full details in attachment.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Supporting Documents and Materials

There are documents in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access to this information.

Request Information
IRB Name
Social and Behavioral Sciences Institutional Review Board at the University of Chicago
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
IRB Name
Social and Behavioral Sciences Institutional Review Board at the University of Chicago
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan
Analysis Plan Documents
Analysis Plan - Exp Design, Model, Structural Estimation, Graphical Reduced Form Analysis

MD5: ca03ab4b5d51bba510804190875999f2

SHA1: c4abb6fb738c6e5bad1fd966063a6bc701c844c6

Uploaded At: November 23, 2014

Sep 2018 Update to Registration and Analysis Plan

MD5: 81fd688cf0cebd338368f9de84d86cca

SHA1: 77117b4c709043a2826c149fcb398f969fdf6d10

Uploaded At: September 21, 2018