(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

Locations

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

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
No
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?
No

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials