Deservingness of the rich: A survey experiment on perceptions of richness

Last registered on November 04, 2022

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Deservingness of the rich: A survey experiment on perceptions of richness
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0010323
Initial registration date
October 28, 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
November 04, 2022, 1:38 PM EDT

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

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
University of Konstanz

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Konstanz
PI Affiliation
Northeastern University

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2022-11-10
End date
2023-01-31
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
This study focuses on perceptions and normative evaluations of richness, an understudied aspect of inequality. It uses a vignette experiment to assess the effects of the origin of money, use of money and amount of money on normative evaluations of the rich. It will thus assess perceptions of their deservingness.
The results will add to the literature on perceptions of inequality and deservingness, where we know much more about perceptions of the poor than the rich. Further, this module contributes to research on attitudes towards redistributive policies. Research on perceptions towards the poor expects that when people perceive the poor as undeserving, they are less likely to support pro-poor redistribution. Our module will allow us to evaluate whether people who perceive the rich as deserving are less likely to support redistribution by taxing the rich.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Baute, Sharon , Luna Bellani and Katharina Hecht. 2022. "Deservingness of the rich: A survey experiment on perceptions of richness." AEA RCT Registry. November 04. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.10323-1.0
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
A survey module with an embedded survey experiment is designed. Vignettes are used to describe a
fictive person and give some in formation about his/her wealth. Each respondent is presented with two different
scenarios of the in total 54 unique scenarios included in the experiment.
Each individual is therefore randomly assigned either to the vignette depicting a person with base characteristics (control) or to one of the 53 possible vignettes (treatment).
We plan to analyze the impact of the randomly assigned characteristics of the rich person on the main outcomes. We also plan to look for heterogenous effects based on respondents characteristics (like gender, age, education and Est/West Germany upbringing) and answers to previous question in the survey, like their perceived position in the income/wealth scale or their normative view on the society.
Intervention Start Date
2022-11-10
Intervention End Date
2022-12-05

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
The primary outcomes of interest are respondents' (1)attribution of deservingness of wealth and (2) support for increasing taxes on wealth.

(1) Some people would say that this person rightly deserves his wealth. Others would say that this person does not deserve it at all.
What is your very first spontaneous impression based on this limited information?
0 = The person does not deserve it at all
1
2
3
4
5
6 = The person fully deserves it

(2)What do you think, should this person's assets be taxed at a higher rate?
0 = Definitely no
1
2
3
4
5
6 = Definitely yes
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The survey vignettes differ along four dimensions relative to the characteristics of the person describe on the vignette and their wealth. A 2*3*3*3 experimental research design is implemented, with a total of 54 unique scenarios included in the experiment.

Each individual is therefore randomly assigned either to the vignette depicting a person with base characteristics (control) or to one of the 53 possible vignettes (treatment).
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization by computer.
Randomization Unit
Randomisation at the individual level.
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
6000
Sample size: planned number of observations
6000
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
a minimum of 220 observations per unique vignette
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number