Group Identity, Meritocracy and Reallocation Decisions

Last registered on March 21, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

Group Identity, Meritocracy and Reallocation Decisions
Initial registration date
March 21, 2023

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
March 21, 2023, 5:00 PM EDT

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

Last updated
March 21, 2023, 9:01 PM EDT

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



Primary Investigator

University of Toronto

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.
Using data from an incentivized online survey with gender-balanced U.S. citizens, I study the role of induced merit identity and induced luck group identity on individuals' redistribution decisions for others as third-parties. The objective of this project is three-fold. First, I aim to test if induced merit group identity and induced luck group identity will affect individuals’ reallocation decisions. If so, I aim to scrutinize if stronger in-group identification will lead to larger in-group bias. Second, I aim to further investigate the heterogeneous effects of different group identities. In particular, I aim to test if group identities induced by exogenous factors will lead to less in-group bias than group identities induced by discretionary factors. I also aim to test if positively distinctive group identities will result in more in-group bias. For example, high merit group identities may lead to more in-group bias than low merit group identities; lucky group identities may lead to more in-group bias than neutral group identities. Third, I aim to examine whether the induced-group identities can affect the fairness attitude distribution in the sample.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Zhang, Jojo. 2023. "Group Identity, Meritocracy and Reallocation Decisions." AEA RCT Registry. March 21.
Experimental Details


See attached
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Reallocation Decisions
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
See attached

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
See attached
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization will be done through Qualtrics
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
No clusters are involved
Sample size: planned number of observations
I plan to recruit two types of participants, i.e. workers and spectators, using an online market framework. Workers and spectators will be recruited using the international online data collection platform Prolific, a crowd-sourcing web service that enables researchers to connect with participants across the globe. Subjects are recruited by posting a brief description on the website, including the time required and the estimated average payment. Survey takers on Prolific browse postings for which they are qualified and upon acceptance, subjects are directed to the experiment platform where they participate in this study.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Every spectator will experience inequality, either positive or negative, from both discretionary and exogenous sources. Therefore, there are four possible combinations of inequality experiences. Overall, there are 4 treatment arms. For the pilot study, I plan to recruit 25 spectators per spectator-worker treatment. For the formal study, I plan to recruit 210 spectators per spectator-worker treatment, so I will have 100 spectators for the pilot and 840 spectators for the formal study. Each spectator makes reallocation decisions for 6 worker pairs. Decisions will be implemented with a probability of one-sixtieth. I thus will need 20 workers for the pilot and 168 workers for
the formal study.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of Toronto Research Ethics Boards
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