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Paying for good intentions? Effect of ex-ante bonuses
Last registered on October 30, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Paying for good intentions? Effect of ex-ante bonuses
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0006678
Initial registration date
October 26, 2020
Last updated
October 30, 2020 9:02 AM EDT
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Middlebury College
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2020-10-23
End date
2021-01-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
We will conduct an experiment with people in the U.S., recruited via Amazon’s MTurk. Participants are informed that the study investigates ways to motivate people to follow through on their intention, in this case writing a get-out-the-vote messages. We then ask them if they are interested in volunteering to write a short message to potential voters encouraging them to vote in the upcoming election. We then randomize those who are interested into one of four groups and learn about details of the task:
• Control: participants receive no payment
• T1 – Post Payment: receive $1.50 bonus after completing the message
• T2 – Pre Payment: receive $1.50 bonus today
• T3 – Choice: choose between receiving the $1.50 bonus today or after completing the task
We then compare the completion rates and the quality of the letter, as specified in more detail in the pre-analysis plan.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Abel, Martin and Rulof Burger. 2020. "Paying for good intentions? Effect of ex-ante bonuses." AEA RCT Registry. October 30. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.6678-1.1.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2020-10-23
Intervention End Date
2020-11-03
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
1) Submitting the letter
2) Effort / Quality of the letter: Number of words, time spent, how convincing / motivating
See PAP for more details
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
see PAP for more details
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
We randomize people interested in the task into one of four groups.
• Control: participants receive no payment
• T1 – Post Payment: receive $1.50 bonus after completing the message
• T2 – Pre Payment: receive $1.50 bonus today
• T3 – Choice: choose between receiving the $1.50 bonus today or after completing the task
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
STATA
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
800 individuals.
Sample size: planned number of observations
800 individuals.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
200 per treatment arm.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Middlebury College IRB
IRB Approval Date
2020-10-21
IRB Approval Number
20-057
Analysis Plan

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