Before the experiments start, all participants receive a show-up fee (see Experimental Protocol for details).
Measuring risk preferences and honest behavior
We measure risk preferences by using the elicitation method of Gneezy and Potters (1997). Participants are asked to allocate the amount x between a save option and a risky option (3x). To study social risk taking, we focus on two aspects: positive correlated risk (PCR) and negative correlated risk (NCR). Active participants will be randomly matched with a passive and anonymous player (from another village). In PCR (NCR), the passive player receives the same (the opposite) payment. This leads to the situation where higher risks in the PCR do not influence the equality between the active and passive player (as both receive the same amount), while higher risk taking in NCR is increasing inequality as one player will gain the high amount while the other will gain the low one. We follow a within-subject design: Participants will make three decisions: They always start with the individual decision, followed by PCR and NCR (the order for PCR and NCR will be randomized).
We measure honest behavior by using the Resource Allocation Game (RAG) (Hruschka et al. 2014, Lowes et al. 2017). In this game, participants play in private with 10 tokens, two envelopes and a fair dice with three sides of black color and threes sides of white color. Participants are asked to allocate each token to one of the two envelope. First, they mentally choose one of the envelopes and then roll the die. If one colored side comes up, players are instructed to put the coin into the envelope they mentally chose. If the other color appears, players are instructed to put the token into the opposite envelope from the one they chose. Participants chose between an envelope for themselves and an envelope assigned to a passive and anonymous player (from another village that is adjacent to them).
We follow a within-subject design: Both games are played by all participants. The order of the two games is fixed. People start with the investment game, followed by the RAG. In total, we have 12 different set of protocols (see attachment).
Treatment variation 1: Activating supernatural beliefs
To study the effect of supernatural beliefs on behavioral outcomes, we will implement a control condition (C) and two treatments (T1P and T2G) in a between subject design. In the two treatments, participants can voluntarily donate an endowment (money) given by the experimenters to local agents who are believed to have supernatural powers - the Pir (T1P) or the Gunin (T2G). Before we start with the explanations of the game in the individual sessions, we put the donation in an envelope labelled with the name of local supernatural agents. People will be told that at the end when they have made all their decisions, this donation will be given on behalf of them to the to the local supernatural agent. We also inform them that we ask for their consent about their donation at the end of the games. During the whole time of the session, the envelope will be visible in front of the participant. When the participants have made all their decisions, they will be asked to donate the endowment to the local supernatural agent or give it back to the experimenter (where the money comes from). To collect additional information about donation decisions, participants in the control group (C) will also be asked to donate a given endowment to the local supernatural agent or give it back to the experimenter. However, the donation decision will only be presented at the end of the session.
Treatment variation 2: Public vs private donation decision
To study social image/reputational concerns related to the donations, at the end of their session participants will make the donation decision either in private or in public (i.e., when the research assistant is watching). In each condition of treatment variation 1 (C, T1P, and T2G), participants will be randomly assigned to either the public or private condition. Note that half of the observations in the control group will be asked to donate to Pir, while the other half will be asked to donate money to the Gunin (see also Table 1 below). The public vs private donation decision will be evaluated as a separate treatment variation.
Eliciting social norms
For each behavioral outcome, we elicit social norms. All norm questions will be incentivized (people receive payment for correct guesses). For all decisions we elicit descriptive norms by asking respondents how much they believe other community members invested (risk game) / allocated to the other person (RAG). For injunctive norms, we applied the following elicitation method. For the risk game, we first ask all participants what they think is the amount which should be invested. In a second question, we first inform participants that we’ll know the answers to this first question at the end of day. We subsequently ask them what they think is the amount that most other people report to the first question. Thus, the first question reveals personal normative beliefs, while the second question gives us injunctive norms. For the RAG, we present participants the following scenario: they should assume that out of 10 times, 5 times the color that allocated money to them shows up. Next, we ask them the following five questions: how socially acceptable is it to allocate money 5 (6, 7, 8, 9 10) times to yourself? Social acceptability is measured on a 4-point scale ranging from very socially unacceptable, somewhat socially unacceptable, socially acceptable, very socially acceptable. In a second question, we inform participants that we know the answers to this first question at the end of day. We subsequently ask them what they think what category was chosen by most others in their community. This method is comparable to the elicitation approach of Krupka and Weber (2013).
After the experiments, we collect additional information in a post-experimental questionnaire (see below). We collect information on religious beliefs, religiosity, supernatural beliefs, trust, conformism, confidence, relatedness, envy, zero sum thinking, trust, financial activities and socio-demographic characteristics.