Causes and consequences of referrals

Last registered on January 04, 2021


Trial Information

General Information

Causes and consequences of referrals
Initial registration date
May 12, 2020

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
May 13, 2020, 3:42 PM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Last updated
January 04, 2021, 10:49 AM EST

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.



Primary Investigator

University of Minnesota

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
This study conducts a field experiment to understand the motivations (or causes) for making referrals and the consequences of referrals on the candidate pool using an MBA program context (i.e., alumni referrals to a program).
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Manchester, Colleen. 2021. "Causes and consequences of referrals." AEA RCT Registry. January 04.
Experimental Details


Treatments include a call to action message developed based on distinct motivations for making a referral, which are sent to alumni via email. Further, treatments are bundled with additional communication to the alumni that varies based on its gender saliency.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Key outcomes include action taken by alumni (i.e., opening email, populating form), quality of referred candidate (i.e., open email, becomes active lead, submits application, characteristics if apply) and gender of the referred candidate (using first name).
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
The 2 x 3 treatments will be evaluated by pooling across different dimensions -e.g., effect of diversity pooled across motivations. We will also look to see if the diversity message interacts with the motivation (e.g., does diversity primer matter more for help a friend motivation?).

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
2 x 3 design.
Experimental Design Details
Study includes a 2 x 3 design where 2 refers to priming message (traditional vs. diversity) and 3 refers to motivations for making a referral.
Randomization Method
Groups randomized after stratifying based on gender, age, degree year, location, and program type. Conducted in Stata.
Randomization Unit
Individual level.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Approximately 11,500 individuals
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
~2,000 per arm
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials