Can transparency alleviate the gender pay gap?

Last registered on May 05, 2021


Trial Information

General Information

Can transparency alleviate the gender pay gap?
Initial registration date
May 04, 2021

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 05, 2021, 11:24 AM EDT

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



Primary Investigator


Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Amsterdam

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Wage transparency regulation is a promising tool to decrease the gender pay gap (Recalde and Vesterlund, 2020). Several European countries adopted such regulation in recent years, among them Germany. We study the effectiveness of the German policy using large scale representative survey data, exploiting an exogenous cutoff in firm size that determines whether companies are subject to this regulation. Furthermore, we want to investigate the conditions that facilitate a successful transparency policy in a laboratory experiment. In this, we focus on how wage transparency has an impact on gender differences in negotiation outcomes. The experiment varies along two dimensions. First, we manipulate the type of information provided, specifically whether only wage information or also information on relative performance is available. Adding information on relative performance removes uncertainty about justifications for wage inequality in negotiations. Second, we vary how this information is provided, endogenously or exogenously. Here, we address that low take-up can render wage transparency policies ineffective.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Brütt, Katharina and Huaiping Yuan. 2021. "Can transparency alleviate the gender pay gap?." AEA RCT Registry. May 05.
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Experimental Details


We manipulate the type of information participants in a laboratory experiment are provided during wage negotiations.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Gender differences in wages
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
See attached analysis plan
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Subjects negotiate the wage to a worker for performing a real-effort task. We employ a 3x2 experimental design, with three between- and two within-subject variations. We vary between subject whether wage information is provided exogenously, endogenously or not at all. Within subject, we vary whether performance information is provided.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done by computer
Randomization Unit
Treatments are randomised on a matching group level, with 8 participants in one matching group.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
66 matching groups
Sample size: planned number of observations
2112 negotiation outcomes from 264 workers and 264 firms
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
22 matching groups per treatment
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Ethics Committee Economics and Business (EBEC) University of Amsterdam
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

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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