Optimal (mis-)coordination under uncertainty: Testing information design in the laboratory; study 2

Last registered on August 08, 2022


Trial Information

General Information

Optimal (mis-)coordination under uncertainty: Testing information design in the laboratory; study 2
Initial registration date
July 31, 2022

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
August 08, 2022, 12:39 PM EDT

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



Primary Investigator


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.
This is a follow-up study of AEARCTR-0007060. I will run additional treatments with participants in the role of information designers.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Ziegler, Andreas. 2022. "Optimal (mis-)coordination under uncertainty: Testing information design in the laboratory; study 2." AEA RCT Registry. August 08. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.9780-1.0
Experimental Details


Participants either face a game of strategic complements or of strategic substitutes.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
For senders: Choice of information structures (public vs. private, level of low, optimal or high).
For receivers: Decision to "work", decision to follow the recommendation
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
For receivers, see the registration of the main experiment, AEARCTR-0007060. I will repeat the same analysis to compare receivers' responses to different information structures. Additionally, I will compare receiver behavior between sessions with exogeneous information structures (AEARCTR-0007060) and sessions when these information structures are endogenously chosen (this experiment).

The main interest in this experiment is in the behavior of senders/information designers.
- Between treatments, I want to compare which information structures they use and whether this aligns with the theoretically predicted optimal choice (public for strategic complements, private for substitutes).
- In a best response analysis, I want to study whether senders' behavior is optimal (based on an empirical best response and on senders' own beliefs).
- I will also conduct best response analyses to the already collected data in the earlier experiment. In particular, I test whether senders' behavior is optimal given choices under exogenous information structures. In addition, I calculate best responses to theoretically predicted best response behavior, as in the Bayes Nash equilibria.
- To study learning effects, I will repeat the analysis once for the whole sample and once only using the last 2/3s of periods.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Beliefs about (i) others' behavior and (ii) the state of the world
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
See the earlier registration (AEARCTR-0007060). I will perform all analysis of beliefs for senders and receivers separately.

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
There is one treatment dimension: A game of strategic complements vs. a game of strategic substitutes.

Experimental Design Details
The structure follows the earlier experiment (AEARCTR-0007060).

The only change is in how information structures are chosen. In the earlier experiment, the information structures were exogenously varied (public vs. private; level of low, optimal and high). In this experiment, participants in the role of senders choose an information structure out of the set of information structures I used previously.

Based on the theoretical predictions, the main hypotheses are:
H1) Senders will choose public information structures in games of strategic complements.
H2) Senders will choose private information structures in games of strategic substitutes.
H3) Senders will not choose information structures with level high.

I will again use regressions, as in the earlier experiment. I will regress the variable of interest on treatment dummies, their interactions and a lab fixed effect; clustering standard errors on a matching group level. Additional controls are linear period trends, subject controls (risk preferences, social preferences, numeracy score, gender, age), if appropriate level fixed effects. For robustness, I will use Mann-Whitney U-tests.
Randomization Method
Treatments are randomly assigned by a computer at the start of sessions.
Randomization Unit
Treatment is assigned on matching group level (9 participants per matching group).
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
40 matching groups with 9 participants each, 20 matching groups for each of the two treatments.
Sample size: planned number of observations
360 participants I plan to collect about 1/2 of observations at MELESSA in Munich, depending on participant availability. The remaining observations will be collected at CREED in Amsterdam.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
20 matching groups for each of the two treatments (strategic complements vs. strategic substitutes).
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Ethics Committee Economics and Business, University of Amsterdam
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

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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