(Dis-)Honesty, incentives and competition: An experimental study
Last registered on April 16, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
(Dis-)Honesty, incentives and competition: An experimental study
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0005578
Initial registration date
April 01, 2020
Last updated
April 16, 2020 8:04 AM EDT
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
University of Nottingham
PI Affiliation
University of Chicago
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2020-04-02
End date
2020-04-30
Secondary IDs
Abstract
In this experiment, we study how competition and incentives influence individuals’ (dis)honesty. To do so, we implement a mind game in the form of a wheel of fortune game. We hypothesize that the incentive effects will be more sizable whenever there is competition.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
List, John A., Sarah Necker and Fabio Tufano. 2020. "(Dis-)Honesty, incentives and competition: An experimental study." AEA RCT Registry. April 16. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.5578-1.1.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2020-04-02
Intervention End Date
2020-04-30
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
We will compare the distribution of guesses both against the fair random benchmark and across treatments.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
We test the effect of competition and the size of the incentives on subjects’ guesses to assess in aggregate their (dis-)honesty. Participants play a wheel of fortune game. The wheel has 11 slices, from A and K. They are asked to guess which letter between A and K that the wheel of fortune will land on. After observing the wheel spin, participants report the letter they guessed. Their payoff will be determined by the number of steps (counting clockwise) they have to take from the letter they spun to the letter they guessed. If the letter they spun is the same letter they guessed of they receive the maximum payment. Otherwise, they receive the maximum payment minus a certain amount of money for each step they have to take.
Participants are randomly assigned to one of 6 treatments which are implemented in a 3x2 between subjects design. The first dimension varies the size of the incentives, the second dimension how the winner is chosen in a group of 10. (1) The maximum payment is $10 and participants have to subtract $1 for each step they have to take, 1 out of 10 participant is randomly chosen for payment. (2) The maximum payment is $5 and participants have to subtract $0.5 for each step they have to take, 1 out of 10 participant is randomly chosen for payment. (3) The maximum payment is $1 and participants have to subtract $0.1 for each step they have to take, 1 out of 10 participant is randomly chosen for payment. (4) The maximum payment is $10 and participants have to subtract $1 for each step they have to take, the participant with the highest earning among 10 is chosen for payment. (2) The maximum payment is $5 and participants have to subtract $0.5 for each step they have to take, the participant with the highest earning among 10 is chosen for payment. (3) The maximum payment is $1 and participants have to subtract $0.1 for each step they have to take, the participant with the highest earning among 10 is chosen for payment.
After the wheel of fortune game, we elicit participants’ demographic characteristics (i.e., age, gender, country of birth; education, race, ethnicity). Participants will be recruited via Qualtrics subject pool. Task payment will be delivered via Paypal.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization by survey software (Qualtrics)
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
NA
Sample size: planned number of observations
180
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
30 per treatment
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Social & Behavioral Sciences (SBS) IRB
IRB Approval Date
2019-11-28
IRB Approval Number
IRB19-1195
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers