Tax morale and local government

Last registered on January 03, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

Tax morale and local government
Initial registration date
December 15, 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
January 03, 2023, 4:25 PM EST

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



Primary Investigator

Nova School of Business and Economics

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Nova School of Business and Economics

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
This study will survey property owners in the city of Quelimane, Mozambique. It will vary the information provided to survey respondents in a 2x2 matrix. 25% will hear a message about public good provision in the city in recent years; 25% will hear a message about how municipal tax receipts increase the fiscal and political autonomy of the municipality; 25% will hear both messages; and 25% will hear neither. Respondents will then be given the opportunity to participate in a public goods game mimicking tax payment, to send a text message requesting information and/or a visit from tax collectors, to vote in a simulated ballot box, and to provide survey measures of tax morale, civic and political attitudes.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Sandholtz, Wayne and Pedro Vicente. 2023. "Tax morale and local government." AEA RCT Registry. January 03.
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Contribution to public goods game
Solicitation via SMS of tax information or visits by tax assessors
Vote choice in a mock ballot box activity
Survey measures of tax morale, government approval, and vote choice
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
This survey will be conducted with four randomly selected owners of property in each of about 250 blocks of the city. Within each block, the four survey respondents will be randomized into one of four treatment arms: 1) control; 2) public goods; 3) local autonomy; or 4) public goods and local autonomy. The treatment consists of a message, delivered by the survey enumerators, relating to the payment of local property taxes. All respondents will receive a basic message informing them of the local property tax rate and the government's approximate budget per citizen. Those in arm 1) will receive only this basic message. Those in arm 2) will additionally receive a message informing them about some of the major public works carried out by the city in the last ten years. Those in arms 3) will additionally receive a message informing them about the municipality's dependence on transfers from the central government, and on the idea that payment of local taxes fosters autonomy from the central government. Those in arm 4) will receive the messages from arms 2) and 3).
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by Stata code.
Randomization Unit
Individual property owner, stratified by block
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
1000 individual property owners
Sample size: planned number of observations
1000 individual property owners
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
250 individuals control; 250 individuals public goods message; 250 individuals local autonomy message; 250 individuals public goods and local autonomy message
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Randomization is at the individual level. We anticipate having 900 respondents. As a first approximation, we divide this in half -- 450 respondents with which to test treatment 1, 450 with which to test treatment 2. With a test size of .05, with 80% power, this gives us a minimum detectable effect size of 0.13 standard deviations for detecting a main effect for each of our two treatments.

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Nova School of Business and Economics
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


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