Overcoming Time Inconsistency with a Matched Bet

Last registered on December 24, 2021


Trial Information

General Information

Overcoming Time Inconsistency with a Matched Bet
Initial registration date
December 22, 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
December 24, 2021, 5:15 PM EST

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



Primary Investigator

Ludwig-Maximilian-University Munich

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
This paper introduces the matched-bet mechanism. The matched bet is an easily applicable and strictly budget-balanced mechanism that aims to help people overcome time-inconsistent behavior. I show theoretically that offering a matched bet helps both sophisticated and naive procrastinators to reduce time-inconsistent behavior. A field experiment on exercising confirms the theoretical predictions: offering a matched bet has a significant positive effect on gym attendance. Self-reported procrastinators are significantly more likely to take up the matched bet. Overall, the matched bet proves a promising device to help people not to procrastinate.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Woerner, Andrej. 2021. "Overcoming Time Inconsistency with a Matched Bet." AEA RCT Registry. December 24. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.8740-1.0
Experimental Details


The intervention compares gym attendance during and after a four-week intervention period between a control group and a treatment group in which subjects are offered to participate in the newly introduced matched bet.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Gym attendance during the intervention period
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Bet participation decisions, self-reported procrastination behavior, self-reported expected future exercising behavior
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Subjects must have a running student membership at the gym of the University of Amsterdam from five weeks before the start of the intervention until the end of the four-week intervention and must have visited the university gym on at most four days during the four weeks prior to the baseline survey. Eligible subjects must complete a baseline survey to participate in the study. The study randomizes subjects into a control group and a treatment group in which subjects are offered to participate in the newly introduced matched bet. Gym attendance is recorded via finger scanners at the entry gates of all gym locations.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done by a computer using the survey software Qualtrics.
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
600 individuals
Sample size: planned number of observations
600 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
200 control, 400 bet
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Ethics Committee Economics and Business (EBEC) University of Amsterdam
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
EC 20161129121103


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