Training Effective Altruism: Experimental Evidence from Pakistan

Last registered on May 08, 2021


Trial Information

General Information

Training Effective Altruism: Experimental Evidence from Pakistan
Initial registration date
October 22, 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 26, 2020, 2:13 PM EDT

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

Last updated
May 08, 2021, 10:42 PM EDT

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



Primary Investigator

Toulouse School of Economics

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Lahore School of Economics
PI Affiliation
Aix-Marseille University

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Empathy is said to be the antidote to in-group bias. In this study we evaluate the causal effects of empathy training on elite civil servants in collaboration with the civil service administration and assess its impact on social preferences, bureaucratic performance, and thought leadership. Recent research suggests that emphasizing malleability of empathy as being key to behavioral change. In a factorial design, we also assess the impacts of emotional intelligence training, the impact of reading material whose content application is assessed via social emotional learning exercises. We also randomize econometrics book (mastering metrics) across the civil servants subject to their selection of the metrics book, where book on empathy serves as a placebo.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Chen, Daniel, Sultan Mehmood and Shaheen Naseer. 2021. "Training Effective Altruism: Experimental Evidence from Pakistan." AEA RCT Registry. May 08.
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Experimental Details


In this study, we aim to test whether training in empathy affects civil service quality, measured in terms of social preferences in experimental games, performance on the job, and thought leadership footprint.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Job performance
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Quality of civil service

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Social preference measurements
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Lectures are delivered over zoom and randomized at the individual level. Factorial design: empathy malleable vs. empathy utilitarian vs. both vs. control (focusing on leadership) in online lectures. Class-wide lectures will also be randomized, focusing on emotional intelligence vs. macro-economics lectures
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done by computer
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
200 civil servants
Sample size: planned number of observations
200 civil servants
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
50 in treatment arms
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
A single sided power test using as the outcome variable of interest from the pilot of empathy in a list experiment with a mean of 2.319 using one treatment group with 100 observations against a control group with 100 observations at a power .90 and a standard deviation of .920 shows that a minimum detectable effect would be a change of .230 of the standard deviation. The new minimum detectable mean would need to reach 2.53 to be detected.

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Lahore School of Economics
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
expected/pending due to covid delay; IRB was approved for February MDE calculation


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