#79908 | AsPredicted

'Retirement experiments - Blaufus and Milde'
(AsPredicted #79908)

Created:       11/14/2021 06:43 AM (PT)

This is an anonymized version of the pre-registration.  It was created by the author(s) to use during peer-review.
A non-anonymized version (containing author names) should be made available by the authors when the work it supports is made public.

1) Have any data been collected for this study already?
No, no data have been collected for this study yet.

2) What's the main question being asked or hypothesis being tested in this study?
This study is a partial replication of Blaufus and Milde (2020, Management Science) - "Tax Misperceptions and the Effect of Informational Tax Nudges on Retirement Savings", using a modified/adapted design. We revisit two of their main research questions: (i) Do after-tax pensions differ between deferred taxation and an economically equivalent immediate taxation, despite subjects being informed about the tax rules before making saving decisions?; and (ii) How do matching contributions affect savings behavior?

3) Describe the key dependent variable(s) specifying how they will be measured.
Average savings rate and effective savings rates, measured according to the methodology of the original paper.

4) How many and which conditions will participants be assigned to?
We will use 3 treatments: (1) Deferred Taxation, (2) Immediate Taxation, (3) Matching Contribution. Participants will be randomly assigned to each of these treatments. Each subject plays a life-cycle of 15 periods (10 working periods requiring completion of an effort task for a fixed wage, and 5 retirement periods with no income and no work task) twice in the same treatment.

5) Specify exactly which analyses you will conduct to examine the main question/hypothesis.
Following the original authors, using a random-effect model we will regress the subjects saving rates (average and effective) for each of their two lives on Immediate and Deferred Taxation treatments (with an indicator variable to distinguish the latter). The Matching Contribution outcomes will be compared to Immediate Taxation with another indicator variable added to the baseline model.

6) Describe exactly how outliers will be defined and handled, and your precise rule(s) for excluding observations.
We will exclude subjects that (1) take less than 30 seconds to read through the instructions; (2) answer more than two wrong questions in a multiple-choice quiz after a trial round in a first attempt, or any wrong question in a second attempt; (3) take more than 60 minutes to finish all tasks after completing the quiz; or (4) drop-out or abandon the experiment before its last screen.

7) How many observations will be collected or what will determine sample size?
No need to justify decision, but be precise about exactly how the number will be determined.

Bilendi (a market research company) will recruit subjects until they receive 696 backlinks of successfully completed experiments, or after 4 days of full-speed collection have passed - whichever comes first. Subjects who are already in the completion pipeline when the entry link is shut down will be allowed to finish timely. The subject pool comprises pre-screened Germany-resident adults.

8) Anything else you would like to pre-register?
(e.g., secondary analyses, variables collected for exploratory purposes, unusual analyses planned?)

We will run an alternative model without demographic covariates. We will collect fewer covariates compared to the original papers and some of them not on the same scale.

In our adapted design, subjects do not fill a tax return, and they see a dynamic table that is expanded with new data every period as they make decisions. We slightly adapted the recurring feedback message on cumulative savings to fit your single-page interface for each experimental life.