Outcome Bias in Bonus Decisions

Last registered on October 27, 2021


Trial Information

General Information

Outcome Bias in Bonus Decisions
Initial registration date
October 18, 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
October 20, 2021, 1:24 PM EDT

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

Last updated
October 27, 2021, 2:10 AM EDT

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


Primary Investigator

Toulouse School of Economics

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
The goal of this study is to investigate outcome bias in bonus decisions.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Loewenfeld, Moritz. 2021. "Outcome Bias in Bonus Decisions." AEA RCT Registry. October 27. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.8387-2.0
Experimental Details


I conduct an online experiment to study outcome bias in a principal-agent setting.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
The bonus decisions made by principals. See the pdf "design_analysis" for a detailed description of the variables that will be constructed and used.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Principals review a number of scenarios in which an agent had to make a choice between two lotteries.The outcome of the agent’s choice determines the payoff of the principal, but not that of the agent, at least not directly. Principals decide whether they want to award a fixed bonus to the agent who took the decision, or to another, randomly chosen, participant.
Experimental Design Details
There are two treatments. In the OB treatment, principals observe both the outcome and the decision before deciding on whether to award the bonus to the agent. In the no-OB (NOB) treatment, principals observe only the agents’ choices, but not their outcomes prior to the bonus decision. For a description of the decision tasks involved, see the pdf "design_analysis".
Randomization Method
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
The target number of participants is 50 principals and 1 or 2 agents per treatment (for the sake of incentivization only). The target number of 50 observations refers to subjects who have not been excluded from the data analysis. For a description of the exclusion criteria, see the pdf "design_analysis".
Sample size: planned number of observations
See above.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
See above.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
TSE Research Ethics Committee for Experimental Research
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