Market Discrimination and Social Media

Last registered on January 20, 2022

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Market Discrimination and Social Media
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0007627
Initial registration date
May 07, 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 07, 2021, 10:32 AM EDT

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

Last updated
January 20, 2022, 9:33 AM EST

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

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
University of Tuebingen

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Tuebingen
PI Affiliation
University of Tuebingen

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2021-01-01
End date
2022-04-01
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
We conduct a correspondence test in the market for shared housing to identify the magnitude of ethnic and gender discrimination and the role of personal information posted on a social media platform. About 4,900 fictitious applications with a randomly assigned Turkish-, or German-sounding female or male name will be sent to vacant room ads. In addition, we randomly add a link to a social media profile to determine the influence of such personal information on callback rates. We carefully constructed these fictional social media accounts on Instagram for over a year to make them as realistic as possible, conducting several surveys among young people to ensure that the profiles are close to reality with a sufficient number of followers. Unlike previous research, we can approximate whether landlords or roommates actually visit these profiles and exploit this information using statistics on profile visits and page impressions. In a second study, we vary the content on the profiles signaling religious beliefs, sexual identification or cultural orientation to identify determinants of ethnic discrimination and how discrimination could potentially be reduced by additional personal information. In addition, we study how serving stereotypes of the minority or majority candidate affects callback rates, as well as how intentionally breaking stereotypes, e.g., using majority stereotypes on a minority member's social media profile and/or vice versa, affects ethnic and gender discrimination.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Manger, Christian, Raphael Moritz and Kerstin Pull. 2022. "Market Discrimination and Social Media." AEA RCT Registry. January 20. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.7627
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2021-06-01
Intervention End Date
2021-12-31

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Callback rates conditional on ethnicity, gender and (variation of) social media information
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We use a non-matched pair randomized controlled trial (correspondence test design) to test for ethnic and gender discrimination in the market for shared housing in Germany. To do this, we randomly vary the applicant’s name, which signals an ethnic minority or ethnic majority member, and we randomly vary gender. In addition, we vary the amount of information by randomly providing a link to a social media profile that contains additional information about the applicant. In a second study, we also vary the content of the social media accounts to test whether additional information signaling religious beliefs or sexual identification affects callback rates. We also want to find out how serving stereotypes of the minority or majority candidate affects callback rates, as well as how intentionally breaking stereotypes, e.g., using majority stereotypes on a minority member's social media profile and/or vice versa, affects ethnic and gender discrimination.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Computer generated (pseudo) randomization using a Python program
Randomization Unit
Individual level
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
n/a
Sample size: planned number of observations
Study I: 4,960; Study II: n/a
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Assuming a 44% percent overall callback rate (from pre-study) we will send out approximately 620 inquiries for each of the eight treatment groups (immigrant/native*female/male*with/without social media info), resulting in 1,240 applications per treatment arm. Number of treatment arms for study II has yet to be determined.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences of the Eberhard Karls University Tübingen
IRB Approval Date
2019-07-02
IRB Approval Number
A2.5.4-083_aa

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
No
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?
No

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials