Strategic Participation in Protests: Evidence from Women´s Day in Chile

Last registered on March 08, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

Strategic Participation in Protests: Evidence from Women´s Day in Chile
Initial registration date
February 24, 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
March 08, 2023, 11:41 AM EST

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


Primary Investigator

FEN, Universidad de Chile

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Facultad FCFM, Universidad de Chile
PI Affiliation
FEN, Universidad de Chile

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
In economics and political science there is not enough agreement on when deciding whether or not to attend a peaceful protest, people behave as strategic complements or substitutes (that is, whether greater expected participation increases or decreases incentives to participate). Although most theoretical models assume strategic complementarity, recent evidence (Cantoni et. al., 2019) shows that in Hong Kong protests, students behave as strategic substitutes. Our hypothesis is that in contexts where potential participants are heterogeneous---or belong to different groups---it could happen that agents interact as complements with some people/groups, and as substitutes with others. This investigation seeks to study this phenomenon within the context of Women´s Day demonstrations in Chile. By conducting an online survey of female undergraduate students at two universities, we will measure initial intention to participate in Women´s Day protests. Then, using that same data we inform students of the expected assistance of different groups and measure the effects of changes in expectations of participation on final intention to attend the march. Therefore, allowing us to identify the degree of strategic substitutability or complementarity
in the decision to protest within contexts of heterogeneous agents.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Correa, Sofía, Agustina Crozier and Francisco Pino. 2023. "Strategic Participation in Protests: Evidence from Women´s Day in Chile." AEA RCT Registry. March 08.
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Given the chosen dimension(s) of heterogeneity, we have the following specific objectives:
1. Determine the degree of substitutability or strategic complementarity at a global level. That is, to study whether a greater total participation decreases or increases incentives to participate in the march.
2. Determine the degree of strategic substitutability or complementarity with one´s own group.
3. Determine the degree of strategic substitutability or complementarity with other different groups.
4. Depending on the number of participants achieved in the study, ordered dimensions of heterogeneity could be defined. In this case, it is intended to understand:
a. What is the distance between two people (on the ideological scale or income level, as appropriate) from which the degree of substitutability or complementarity reverses?
b. How does this distance vary across groups?
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The methodology of this investigation revolves around an online survey that will be implemented in 3 waves. This survey will be sent to all female undergraduate students of two Chilean universities: University of Chile and University Diego Portales. The survey consists of: a first wave where student´s basic information and intentions to participate in the march is collected; a second wave where information on expected assistance from different groups is delivered; and a third wave where information on final participation in the march is collected. Participation in the survey will be encouraged with prizes that will be raffled among the participants.
Experimental Design Details
The first wave, implemented between March 1st and 5th, captures general information about the participants, such as sociodemographic characteristics, past participation in the movement and marches, feminism, sexism, ideological position, religion, and beliefs about expected attendance at the upcoming march for International Women´s Day.

In the second wave (March 7th), the previously gathered information is used to inform about the estimated attendance of different groups and/or the total, depending on the assigned treatment. Once the treatment is received, questions are asked about the intention to participate and subsequent beliefs about attending the march.

Finally, in the third and final wave, which occurs after the protest (March 9-12), we measure effective participation in the march and the reasons/reflections of attending.

The most relevant instance within this methodology is the intervention carried out in the second wave. For each dimension of heterogeneity, two groups of relevant information will (potentially) be provided: (i) information on overall expected attendance at the march, (ii) information on attendance relative to one´s own group. In this way, each person can receive a combination of information about global assistance, and assistance from some group to which they belong or not.

The previously described experimental design is directly related to the specific objectives of this investigation. In particular, the information provided within the second wave intervention will be used to measure the effects of changes in the expectations of attendance of different groups on the intention to attend the march. This will allow us to measure and identify the degree of strategic substitutability or complementarity with different groups in the decision to protest.
Randomization Method
Randomization will be done automatically by the survey server (Qualtrics) once participants enter the second wave of the survey. The randomization is programmed to assign treatments in a roughly equal manner across all respondents within the randomization unit.
Randomization Unit
The randomization unit is by groups (defined by the dimension of heterogeneity chosen) and universities. For example, if the dimension chosen is political ideology, then randomization will be done within each group and university: Right and UCHILE, Center and UCHILE, Left and UCHILE, Right and UDP, Center and UDP, Left and UDP.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
As described above, the unit of randomization is by universities and groups. There are two universities that are participating in the experiment and 3 groups for each dimension. Therefore, the methodology involves 6 clusters per dimension.
Sample size: planned number of observations
According to tuition figures of the year 2021, the University of Chile has 34.526 undergraduate students, where 18.010 students (52.2%) declare to be women. On the other hand, the University Diego Portales has 12.651 undergraduate students, where if around 50% declare to be women then there would be 6.325 students that would be part of the target audience of this survey. Considering an average response rate for online student surveys of around 10%, then there would be around 2.433 participants/observations.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Considering the planned number of observations described above and both the randomization units and number of treatments the sample size would be: 2.433(number of participants) ÷ 6 (number of randomization units) ÷ 8 (number of possible treatments) = aprox. 50 people within each treatment arm and cluster.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Comité de Ética y Bioseguridad para la Investigación de la Facultad de Ciencias Físicas y Matemáticas (FCFM) de la Universidad de Chile
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

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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