Memorials and Inclusive Decision-Making

Last registered on May 03, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

Memorials and Inclusive Decision-Making
Initial registration date
February 08, 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
May 03, 2023, 3:59 PM EDT

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



Primary Investigator


Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Memorials are used world over to commemorate historical events. Among these are those dedicated to reminders of colonialism, slavery, wars, and genocide. There is growing interest in understanding how the presence of such memorials shape societal thinking, integration, beliefs, and values. However, there is hardly any evidence. This progress has been hampered by several challenges. First, there is an issue of self-selection, as individual may sort into places with and without memorials. Second, even if we can resolve this problem, it is difficult to understand the underlying channel -- are observed responses due to internalization of beliefs and values or do they reflect social desirability. We aim to study the effect of memorials dedicated to the victims of WW-II on inclusive-decision making in Germany. These memorials are placed on municipal properties outside the house where the victims of WW II once lived. They include information on the name, gender, and age of the victim, as well as their survival status during the war period, and in case of death, the name and location of the concentration camp.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Rustagi, Devesh and Hans-Joachim Voth. 2023. "Memorials and Inclusive Decision-Making." AEA RCT Registry. May 03.
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Responses on attitudes contained in ESS, WVS and Allbus surveys; Responses in the third party punishment in the dictator game; Responses in the trolley dilemma.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Our focus in only on former Jewish properties (eligible). Some of these have a memorial for many years (Treated, T1), but others do not (Control, C) for reasons that have nothing to do with the residents living there today. A simple approach is to compare residents' attitudes in properties with and without memorials. This would conflate three factors: i. an effect of memorials that is due to deeper changes in behavior from internalization of the horrors of the WW II, ii. social desirability, and iii. sample selection (those who move out of the property, or move in, over time, may have been influenced by the memorial).

To separate these factors, our design augments the simple comparison stated above. We exploit the quasi-random roll out of the memorial by the NGO to consider properties where the memorial was laid recently (T2). In addition, we provide information to randomly selected eligible properties without memorials (T3). In this treatment, we will provide information containing text identical to that embossed on the actual memorials. It will let residents know that they live in a property inhabited by Jews before WW II, names of victims, and their survival status. However, there is no actual memorial in front of the building.

1) T1-C gives us an effect of memorials and social desirability in the longer-run (over several years);

2) T2-C gives us an effect of memorials and social desirability in the shorter-run (within 1-2 years);

3) T1-T2 gives us the marginal effect of longer over shorter-run. To the extent social desirability does not increase over time, but internalization does, this approach yields clean results;

4) T2-T3 gives us the effect in the short run that is due to internalization to the extent social desirability does not increase with the actual laying of the memorial.

5) T3-C information and social desirability effect of memorials

In addition, we can condition on the demographic characteristics of the current and past resident to see if the effect amplifies in response to empathy.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Done by NGO in T2, although depending on our funding we might be able to achieve this on our own. This would involve random placements of memorials in some of the eligible properties. In addition, we will use random assignment of T3. Randomisation will be carried out in office by a computer.
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
mostly likely none
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
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