Towards Gender Equality in Inheritance: A Randomized Informational Experiment

Last registered on February 20, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

Towards Gender Equality in Inheritance: A Randomized Informational Experiment
Initial registration date
January 09, 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
January 23, 2023, 8:02 AM EST

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

Last updated
February 20, 2023, 11:11 AM EST

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



Primary Investigator

European University Institute

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.
Gender discrimination correlates negatively with important development outcomes. The relationship is likely to be causal to some extent and the issue becomes particularly salient when gender discrimination is encoded in law (Duflo 2012; Jayachandran 2015). Legal reform, however, may be hindered or invalidated by restrictive social norms (Rosenblum 2015; Roy 2015 and Bhalotra et al. 2020). This research aims to provide a better understanding of the malleability of social norms in the context of Islamic inheritance law in Tunisia. The current inheritance law systematically favors sons over daughters and has been contested by a large social movement since 2018. While legal reform seems unlikely today, gifting provides an alternative way of alleviating gender discrimination in inheritance privately. Within a randomized informational experiment conducted via the phone, I test whether providing information on public support for legal reform and gifting one’s daughter has a causal impact on attitudes regarding women’s right to inheritance. Further outcomes will allow for a better understanding of public opinion on inheritance law reform and shed light on whether gifting can be perceived as second-best solution relative to inheritance law reform.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Hauser, Christina Sarah. 2023. "Towards Gender Equality in Inheritance: A Randomized Informational Experiment." AEA RCT Registry. February 20.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details


Treated respondents receive information about public support for reform of gender discriminatory inheritance law and alternative ways of arranging a more gender equitable inheritance split: gifting.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Respondents will be asked to allocate inheritance shares between a daughter and a son in a hypothetical scenario. This is the fist primary outcome of the study: individual preference for a gender equitable inheritance arrangement. As a second primary outcome, I measure personal support for reform of gender discriminatory inheritance law.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary outcomes include further questions on support of gender equality (as a normative statement), willingness to use gifting to achieve a more gender equitable inheritance split and perceived urgency of legal reform. Respondents will be asked to choose their preferred donation recipient among four Tunisian NGOs. The share of respondents choosing a feminist NGO will be a proxy for respondents' sensitivity to women's issues.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
This research will be based on an informational experiment targeting a large sample of Tunisian adults on the phone via random digital dialing.
Experimental Design Details
After the baseline survey, a random subsample of respondents will be allocated to the treatment groups and receive the informational treatment as described above. Different beliefs about public support for inheritance law reform will generate treatment heterogeneity. Treatment effects will then be evaluated in hypothetical vignette-style scenarios and direct questions in a first endline immediately after the information provision, and a second endline, conducted four weeks later.
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Treatment randomization at the individual level
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
about 1500 individuals
Sample size: planned number of observations
1500 individuals (same as clusters); they will be recontacted four weeks later for a second endline.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Respondents will be allocated to treatments and control in equal shares - 500 T1, 500 T2, 500 C.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Based on the outcome I have already measured (outcome 2, personal support for legal reform), the minimum detectable effect sizes of this experiment are reasonable: According to Haaland et al. (2020), the typical effect size in an informational experiment is about 15 percent of a standard deviation. For testing the null hypothesis that the treatment effect is 0, I obtain a minimum detectable effect size of 8.4 percentage points of a standard deviation (mean 0.345, SD 0.476), assuming N=1000 equally allocated to T1 and C, ICC=0, alpha=0.05 and 80% power. Power for detecting heterogeneity in treatment effects according to misperceived second-order beliefs will be lower. Based on the distribution of second-order beliefs from my previous survey, I expect 25% of respondents to underestimate, 10% to guess correctly and 65% to overestimate support for reform. Assuming N=500 allocated to T and a ratio of 2.6 of respondents who overestimate vs. underestimate support, ICC=0, alpha=0.05 and beta=0.8, I would be able to detect a 13.4 percentage points of a standard deviation increase in support for legal reform.

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Ethics Committee of the European University Institute
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