Unleveling the Playing-field? --Parents' Willingness to Give their Child an Advantage

Last registered on November 29, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

Unleveling the Playing-field? --Parents' Willingness to Give their Child an Advantage
Initial registration date
October 20, 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
October 21, 2020, 8:37 AM EDT

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

Last updated
November 29, 2023, 12:22 PM EST

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



Primary Investigator

University of Amsterdam

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
NHH-IRB 01/20, NSD:328704
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Parental involvement may hinder the meritocracy of otherwise merit based competitions among children. However, believing that other parents will help their children, interference may occur to ensure that one's child is not left at a disadvantage. This study aims to investigate to what degree parents want to provide their child an advantage in an originally meritocratic competition, and how their choice of whether or not to interfere in the competition (i.e. provide help) is affected by the possibility that other parents may help their children. If you as a parent were given the possibility to give your child an advantage, would you do it? Would you compromise the meritocracy of a competition to benefit your child?

To study this potential mechanism for why parents interfere in their children's educational attainment, I conduct a controlled lab-in-the-field experiment in Norwegian secondary schools. The subjects are 10th grade students and their parents.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Sund , Oda Kristine Storstad. 2023. "Unleveling the Playing-field? --Parents' Willingness to Give their Child an Advantage." AEA RCT Registry. November 29. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.6609-1.1
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Parents helping choice (0-10) and their beliefs about other parents' behavior. See section (6.1) and (6.3) in attached document.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
See section (6.3) and (6.1) in attached document.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
See section (6) in attached document.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
See section (6) in attached document.

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
See section (3) in attached document.
Experimental Design Details
See section (3) in attached document.
Randomization Method
Randomized in oTree using random choice (treatment or control).
Randomization Unit
The individual (parent).
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
The targeted number of parents (including their child) to participate in the study is 900.
Sample size: planned number of observations
900 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
450 in both treatments.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Norwegian School of Economics’ Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
IRB Name
he Norwegian Center of Research Data (NSD)
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

Analysis Plan Documents


MD5: 4f242524a5639a696bed36fc0a14e052

SHA1: 3a030913a990af9e7c95001d113b85c7656d03b5

Uploaded At: October 20, 2020


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