Shifting the reward for kind delegation

Last registered on December 19, 2020


Trial Information

General Information

Shifting the reward for kind delegation
Initial registration date
June 21, 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
June 22, 2020, 11:48 AM EDT

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

Last updated
December 19, 2020, 10:51 PM EST

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



Primary Investigator

Nanjing Audit University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Tilburg University
PI Affiliation
Tilburg University

Additional Trial Information

Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Recent experimental research shows that responsibility attribution can be shifted by delegating to a third party. Existing studies focus on the change in punishment patterns for the delegation of unkind decisions. There are not enough observations for the delegation of kind decisions, and little evidence of such responsibility shifting pattern for kind delegation. We run an online experiment with a delegated dictator game, and examine the reward patterns of the recipients for the fair option. This connects with the existing evidence and helps provide a general picture of responsibility attribution in delegation.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Argenton, Cedric , Jan Potters and Yadi Yang. 2020. "Shifting the reward for kind delegation." AEA RCT Registry. December 19.
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Rewarding behaviors of recipients to dictators with fair decisions and to dictators who delegate to a fair agent
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The game takes the format of a dictator game, with an option or the dictator to delegation the decision to another agent, and the option for the recipient to reward or punish the dictator and/or the delegate.
Experimental Design Details
The game follows the design of the delegated dictator game of Bartling and Fischbacher (2012). Four types of players are matched together: a dictator, a potential delegate, and two recipients. The dictator chooses between two options: a) a fair option that allocates 5 points for each player, and b) an unfair option that allocates 9 points each to the dictator and the delegate and 1 point each to the two

The dictator has the option to delegate the decision to the delegate. Each receiver can reward the dictator and the delegate. Each receiver allocates rewarding a total of up to 7 rewarding points to the principal and the delegate.

The game is played in strategy method. The dictator decides to either choose between the two allocations him/herself, or to delegate the decision. The delegate needs to make the allocation decision before knowing whether the dictator has chosen to delegate or not. Both receivers assigns rewarding points for all four possible scenarios. The allocation is implemented according to the choice of the matched dictator and/or delegate. The rewarding points of one of the two receivers is randomly selected by a computerized die row to be implemented.

Jun 22
- Dictator game with delegation but no reward
- Dictator game with no delegation but with reward
- Dictator game with delegation and reward
- Dictator game with delegation and punishment

After data collection from the delegation and reward treatment finishes:
- Dictator game with delegation and reward, but the dictator can only delegate to a randomized die row whose probability distribution equal to the delegate's behaviors from the delegation and reward treatment. (Thus data collection for this treatment can only start after data collection from the delegation and reward treatment finishes.)
- Dictator game with delegation and reward, but the dictator can only choose the unfair allocation if he/she chooses not to delegate

The experiment will be run on Prolific with the following pre-screening restrictions:
- Students
- Completed degree is high school or above
- US residents
- Prolific approval rate at least 90%
- Age: 18-30
Randomization Method
Randomization by computer
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
1200 individuals
Sample size: planned number of observations
1200 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
200 individuals per treatment
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
TiSEM Institution Review Board
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
IRB EXE 2020-011


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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

Request Information


Is the intervention completed?
Intervention Completion Date
July 10, 2020, 12:00 +00:00
Data Collection Complete
Data Collection Completion Date
July 10, 2020, 12:00 +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
1210 subjects
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
1210 subjects
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
202 in the Baseline treatment, 202 in the D&P treatment, 201 in the D&R treatment, 201 in the NoD&R treatment, 200 in the Asymmetric treatment, 204 in the Random treatment.
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials