A Voluntary Disclosure Approach to Salary History Ban: Experimental Evidence form the Lab
Last registered on June 03, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
A Voluntary Disclosure Approach to Salary History Ban: Experimental Evidence form the Lab
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0007697
Initial registration date
June 03, 2021
Last updated
June 03, 2021 5:30 PM EDT
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of Michigan
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2021-06-07
End date
2021-08-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Inspired by the Salary History Bans, we designed a context-free lab experiment for a sender-receiver game to reflect the information transmission through the disclosure or non-disclosure of the past salary to the prospective employer before and after the ban under wage inequality.

Senders (applicants) have a true underlying secret number (type) and a color number (idiosyncratic noise term pertaining to historical factors about the past job) assigned to them each round. The summation of the secret number and the color number creates a message (past salary) that is the only available mean of communication between the sender and the receiver other than staying silent. There are two sender color groups (demographic groups). The color number distribution is right-skewed for one sender color group and left-skewed for the other. The support of the color number distribution has symmetric around 0 support for both groups. Receivers' (prospective employer) payoff increases with the accuracy of the guess, whereas senders' payoff increases with the guess itself.

Our main intervention is changing the information disclosure regime from mandatory disclosure (of the message) to voluntary disclosure.

Our experiment consists of 3 waves, in the first two waves we isolate sender groups in both information transmission regimes to test our behavioral model that is an extension of the cursed equilibrium. In the 3rd wave, we put together the two sender groups in two treatments, one for each information transmission regime for the analysis of sender welfare (guess).

Due to COVID-19 related measures, our experiment is going to be conducted online.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Sariisik, Merve. 2021. "A Voluntary Disclosure Approach to Salary History Ban: Experimental Evidence form the Lab." AEA RCT Registry. June 03. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.7697-1.0.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
We will change the information transmission regime from mandatory disclosure of the message (secret number + noise term) to voluntary disclosure.

Intervention Start Date
2021-06-07
Intervention End Date
2021-08-31
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
mistake (raw)
mistake (absolute)
guess
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
mistake (raw) = guess - secret number
mistake (absolute) = absolute value of the distance between the guess and the secret number

Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
We let participants play a sender-receiver game, where the only available mean of communication is a "message" which is the sum of the true type (referred to as the "secret number") and a noise term (referred to as "color number"). The true types are uniformly distributed, wheres the noise term (support symmetric around 0) has a right or left-skewed distribution depending on the group of the sender.

Wave 1:
Treatment #1)mandatory disclosure of the message - sender group has right-skewed noise term
Treatment #2)mandatory disclosure of the message - sender group has left-skewed noise term

Wave 2:
Treatment #3)voluntary disclosure of the message - sender group has left-skewed noise term

Wave3:
Treatment #4)mandatory disclosure of the message - two sender groups in the same treatment
Treatment #5)voluntary disclosure of the message - two sender groups in the same treatment
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Participants in the experiment are randomly allocated to a treatment.
Randomization Unit
experimental session & individuals play multiple rounds of the sender-receiver game in the session
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
470 individuals
Sample size: planned number of observations
7065
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Treatment #1: 72 individuals
Treatment #2: 72 individuals
Treatment #3: 72 individuals
Treatment #4: 127 individuals
Treatment #5: 127 individuals
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
University of Michigan Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
2021-02-21
IRB Approval Number
N/A (Exempt Approval)