Happy Spouse, Happy House: Collaborative Risk-taking and Marital Satisfaction

Last registered on September 28, 2022


Trial Information

General Information

Happy Spouse, Happy House: Collaborative Risk-taking and Marital Satisfaction
Initial registration date
July 09, 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
July 09, 2021, 12:46 PM EDT

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

Last updated
September 28, 2022, 6:31 AM EDT

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



Primary Investigator

NYU Shanghai

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
New York University Shanghai

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
In this study we explore the links between marital satisfaction and how married couple's approach decision-making under risk. We plan to give out online surveys and conduct online experiments with participants through WeChat video chat. We plan to recruit 100 pairs of Chinese married couples who are both in their first marriage. Couples will first make some economic decisions apart, then brought together to make these choices together. Half of the couples will be informed what their partner chose before they decide together; the other half will not be informed. We are interested in whether a marriage where couples' decision making tends to be wife-dominant or husband-dominant is associated with higher marital happiness, and whether awareness of one's partner's preferences influence the decision-making process and decision outcomes.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Chen, Yumeng and Eric Set. 2022. "Happy Spouse, Happy House: Collaborative Risk-taking and Marital Satisfaction." AEA RCT Registry. September 28. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.7900-4.0
Experimental Details


Married couples participating online with an experimenter make simple portfolio allocation choices separately and then together in an incentivized lab-style experiment. A measure of marital satisfaction and other measures of interest will be collected.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
a. The amount allocated to the "risky option" by individuals and by the couple.
b. Individual measures of marital satisfaction

Primary Outcomes (explanation)
We hope to characterize a couple’s choice in terms of the choices of the individuals, supported by other measures gathered in the study (e.g., beliefs, relative age, gender, relative income).

We are particularly interested in whether marital satisfaction correlates to the aspects of the individuals’ preferences (e.g., the difference between husband and wife) and/or how couples make their choice (e.g., if one member dominates the decision-making).

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Comparison of economic decisions (individual and collaborative) when couples are informed by the experimenter of their spouse's choices versus when they are not.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Couples will be assigned randomly to either an INFO (told spouse's choice) or NOINFO treatment.

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Basic demographic information, a measure of relationship satisfaction, a survey of cognitive reflection, choices in a portfolio allocation task (made individually and with their marriage partner), belief about partner's choices, and audio/video of couples making these choices will be collected from participants.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
For assignment to the INFO/NOINFO condition: Coin flip by the researcher before the experiment starts
Randomization Unit
Married couple
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
100 pairs of married couples
Sample size: planned number of observations
200 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
50 pairs of couples (100 individuals) in each treatment
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
New York University Shanghai
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

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