Beliefs in Merit, Trickle-Down Economics, and Preferences for Redistribution: An Experiment with the Top and Bottom 20% of the US Income Distribution

Last registered on November 30, 2022

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Beliefs in Merit, Trickle-Down Economics, and Preferences for Redistribution: An Experiment with the Top and Bottom 20% of the US Income Distribution
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0010535
Initial registration date
November 29, 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 30, 2022, 5:01 PM EST

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

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Kiel Institute for the World Economy

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Université de Rennes 1
PI Affiliation
Universitat de Barcelona

Additional Trial Information

Status
On going
Start date
2022-07-08
End date
2022-12-31
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
We estimate demand for redistribution by a stratified sample of US citizens selected from the bottom and top 20% of the US income distribution. Participants decide how much money to redistribute from an entrepreneur earning more than $100,000 in real life (labelled Person 1), to an individual earning less than $10,000 in real life (labelled Person 2). Person 1 is initially assigned $50 in this interaction upon completion of a task, while Person 2 is assigned $1. Using conjoint analysis, the real-life characteristics of sixteen Person 1s and four Person 2s are used to investigate the relevance of both the willingness to reward individual merit and the beliefs in trickle-down economics in accounting for participants’ preferences for redistribution. Participants are administered 16 different redistributive choices matching eight different profiles for Person 1 and two different profiles for Person 2. We manipulate (a) the number of hours worked (a measure of merit for both Person 1 and 2); (b) Whether Person 1 founded or inherited their firm (a measure of merit for the entrepreneur); (c) The number of employees in Person 1’s firm; and (d) The amount donated by Person 1 within a year (c and d being measures of the trickle-down potential of the rich choices). One randomly selected decision is actually implemented. To check for external validity, in the second wawe of the study we add a choice on how much money to donate to a charity supporting poor people in the US.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Brunetti, Roberto, Gianluca Grimalda and Maria Marino. 2022. "Beliefs in Merit, Trickle-Down Economics, and Preferences for Redistribution: An Experiment with the Top and Bottom 20% of the US Income Distribution." AEA RCT Registry. November 30. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.10535-1.0
Sponsors & Partners

Sponsors

Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
See pre-analisis plan
Intervention Start Date
2022-07-08
Intervention End Date
2022-12-31

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Amount transferred in the redistribution situation administered to participants (see pre-analisis plan)
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
See pre-analisis plan
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Three out of the four of the treatments are applied within subjects, thus there is no need of randomization. Participants are administered 16 experimental decisions, whose order is randomly determined by the survey platform program Limesurvey. The remaining treatment is administered between subjects. The assignment to one or the other treatment is done by Limesurvey. Since we apply conjoint analysis, we do not have a control group as such.
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
No clustering is planned
Sample size: planned number of observations
900 participants recruited from an online panel.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
We plan conjoint analysis in which 5 attributes have been manipulated: (a) the number of hours worked by the rich stakeholder (Person 1); (b) the number of hours worked by the poor stakeholder (Person 2); (c) Whether Person 1 founded or inherited their firm; (d) The number of employees in Person 1’s firm; (e) The amount donated to charity by Person 1 within a year.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
See power analysis in the pre-analysis plan.
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Kiel Institute for the World Economy Presidium
IRB Approval Date
2022-11-04
IRB Approval Number
EP-3-2022
Analysis Plan

Analysis Plan Documents

Pre-plan

MD5: 73f051476b5a1597287b73d51c9f5ee1

SHA1: 0d99c98532fb438fb2c18c6632ae4ec1fe98bb88

Uploaded At: November 29, 2022

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
No
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?
No

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials