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Can competition in the hiring market undermine ethnic discrimination during the hiring process?

Last registered on October 29, 2021


Trial Information

General Information

Can competition in the hiring market undermine ethnic discrimination during the hiring process?
Initial registration date
October 27, 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 29, 2021, 1:41 PM EDT

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



Primary Investigator

Queensland University of Technology

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial is based on or builds upon one or more prior RCTs.
This experiment aims to identify the impact of increased competition in the hiring market on the employer ethnic discrimination during the hiring. For each session, there are also 4 participants, to play the role of employer and finish a hiring game. We will provide profiles of employees candidates collected in the preliminary phase. Each session has profiles of 6 majorities and 6 minorities. All employers will firstly finish a practice task to understand the difficulty of the task to measure the ability of all employee candidates. We will have 3 treatments of this experiment: no hiring and wage competition, hiring competition with fixed wage, hiring and wage competition.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Hu, Hairong. 2021. "Can competition in the hiring market undermine ethnic discrimination during the hiring process?." AEA RCT Registry. October 29.
Experimental Details


1)Baseline (Treatment A): No hiring and wage competition
2)Treatment B: Hiring competition with a fixed wage regime
3)Treatment C: Hiring competition and wage competition (flexible wage regime)
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
The probability of a minority candidate being hired by at least one participant, controlled by given scores (rank), age, treatments and before or after updating process.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
1) Hypothesis 1: The probability of minority employees being hired are lower in A than in B-1 and B-2
2) Hypothesis 2: The probability of minority employees being hired are lower in A than in C-1 and C-2
3) Hypothesis 3: The probability of minority employees being hired are lower in C-2 than in B-2

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The experiment includes 2 parts:1) a preliminary phase. We will ask the participants to finish a series of tasks and an exit survey to capture their productivity and demographic information. This information will be used in the second part; 2) a hiring game. In the hiring game, we have three treatments: baseline -treatment A (without hiring and wage competition), fixed-wage -treatment B (with hiring competition only), flexible wage -treatment C (with both hiring and wage competition).
Experimental Design Details
All the treatments are between-subject designs and each session will be randomly assigned to one of the treatments. Baseline Treatment (Treatment A) has neither hiring competition nor wage competition. In Treatment A, employers will receive the profiles of all candidates, including the scores of a randomly drawn task, "type" information to reflect the ethnicity, and a number of higher education completed. Each employer must select an employee from all the candidates, and they will form a group automatically without any restrictions. Each employee will receive £1 wages from their employers. This means employers must give up £1 as a wage to their selected employees. Employers will also gain a payment based on employees' scores in another drawn task, and they can earn £0.6 per score. Employers will not earn negative payments from the hiring game and therefore the minimum payment for the hiring game is 0.

In Treatment B, participants will have competition in hiring but they cannot practice wage competition. This means if an employee candidate is selected by more than 1 employer, the candidate will be assigned to 1 group randomly, and the other participant(s) will have no paired employee and earn 0 and finish the experiment. This setting is to avoid them always selecting the same candidate. Each employee will receive £1 wages from their employers.

In Treatment C, employers will have competition in both hiring and wage offers. During the selection, employers can not only select their employees but also select a wage that they are willing to give up to their hired employees. They can choose a wage from the following number: £1, £1.5, £2, £2.5 and £3.and if more than one employer selects the highest wage, the candidate will be paired with one of the highest wage employers. And the other employers will have no employees and finish the experiment with 0 payments. Employers will a paired employee will earn £0.6 per score of another randomly drawn task.

Randomization Method
randomised by a computer
Randomization Unit
individual employee candidate
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Each treatment has 100 sessions. So there will be 300 sessions
Sample size: planned number of observations
Each session has 12 employee candidates and 4 participants. The total observations are 48*300 =14400 observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
300 sessions
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

Analysis Plan Documents


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