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The Demand For Self Image and Social Image
Last registered on September 22, 2017

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
The Demand For Self Image and Social Image
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0001124
Initial registration date
June 21, 2016
Last updated
September 22, 2017 10:22 AM EDT
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of California, San Diego
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Harvard University
PI Affiliation
The World Bank
PI Affiliation
Sao Paulo School of Economics, FGV
PI Affiliation
UCLA Anderson School of Management
Additional Trial Information
Status
Completed
Start date
2015-07-20
End date
2016-08-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Consumers might choose to purchase certain products to show to others their own economic achievements and thus gain social status. Purchasing an exclusive product may also shape one' view of oneself, regardless of the opinion of others. We consider premium credit cards, which can be demanded not only for the services and benefits that they provide, but also for social image and self-image motives. Since qualification requirements for these cards are usually high, this is a financial product generally available only to wealthy individuals. This exclusivity makes it a well-know symbol of success, which might enhance the owner's social image and self-image. We design a phone marketing experiment to disentangle the roles of self- versus social image considerations as well as instrumental benefits in explaining the demand for a platinum card. Random variation in prices allow to us to measure customers willingness to pay for social status and self image. The experiment will also inform us on the complementarity or substuitability of social image and self image.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Bursztyn, Leonardo et al. 2017. "The Demand For Self Image and Social Image." AEA RCT Registry. September 22. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.1124-2.0.
Former Citation
Bursztyn, Leonardo et al. 2017. "The Demand For Self Image and Social Image." AEA RCT Registry. September 22. http://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/1124/history/21695.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
We design a phone marketing experiment in which we randomize the characteristics of the product being offered and the scripts used for the call.
First, some clients are offered to replace their non-premium card by a premium card, while others are offered all of the extra services of a premium card on their existing non-premium card. Customers will thus be offered the same instrumental services: the only thing differing is whether the services are included in their present relatively nondescript card, or on the premium platinum card which might have an additional "status" component. If the share accepting the premium card is higher than the share accepting the added benefits to the non-premium card, we will have established that customers value the status associated with the exclusive premium card.
Second, we will randomize the exclusivity of this premium card: in the premium arm, half of the customers will be offered a platinum top 5 card (reserved to less than 5% of the customers), and half will be offered a platinum top 20 card (reserved to less than 20% of the customers). If the share accepting the top 5 card is higher than the share accepting the top 20 card, we will establish that customers value the exclusivity of the product.
To further disentangle the nature of the demand for status -- social vs. self-image -- we proceed with additional treatments.
First, some clients will be told that they were selected on the basis of their merit, while others will be told that they were chosen on the basis of luck. Both of these statements are true, since customers receiving these offers are randomly selected among those who qualify for the offer. Second, some clients are told that the premium card will look the same as the card they own (so, only they will know it's a different product), while half will be told it will have a different look (so, everyone will know it's a different product). Consider the premium conspicuous card, which looks different from the non-premium card. The script mentioning merit should activate both social and self-image channels -- the opportunity to build self-image since the offer is an acknowledgment of the customer's financial success, and social image since the distinctive platinum card is well recognized by others as a marker of elite status. On the other hand, the luck script should activate only the social image aspect. Consider now the discrete premium card, which look the same as the non-premium card. The script mentioning merit should activate only the self-image channel. The script mentioning luck should not activate neither the self-image nor the social-image channels. Being able to activate separately self-image, social-image, and both together will allow us to understand the interactions in the demand for these attributes (complementarity or substituability).
Price variation will allow us to estimate willingness to pay for different attributes.
Intervention Start Date
2016-06-23
Intervention End Date
2016-07-31
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Primary Outcome: offer take-up decision
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
We ask about the customer willingness to take up the offer at the end of the call, and code this as a "yes" or "no".
If a customer decides to interrupt the call before the caller asked about her willingness to take up the offer, but after the caller described the details of the offer, then the take-up decision will be coded as "no" as well.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Customers will be randomized in one of 18 groups along 4 dimensions: type of card (non-premium, discrete premium, conspicuous premium), exclusivity (reserved to 5% or 20%, only for the premium card), selection criteria (luck or merit, only for the premium card), and price (50,000 or 200,000 Rp).
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
The randomization was conducted using a computer random number generator.
Randomization Unit
We randomized at the level of the individual customer.
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
No clustering.
Sample size: planned number of observations
1400
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
[100] non-premium 50,000
[100] non-premium 200,000
[50] discrete premium, Top 5, Luck 50,000
[50] discrete premium, Top 5, Luck 200,000
[100] discrete premium, Top 5, Merit 50,000
[100] discrete premium, Top 5, Merit 200,000
[50] discrete premium, Top 20, Luck 50,000
[50] discrete premium, Top 20, Luck 200,000
[100] discrete premium, Top 20, Merit 50,000
[100] discrete premium, Top 20, Merit 200,000
[50] conspicuous premium, Top 5, Luck 50,000
[50] conspicuous premium, Top 5, Luck 200,000
[100] conspicuous premium, Top 5, Merit 50,000
[100] conspicuous premium, Top 5, Merit 200,000
[50] conspicuous premium, Top 20, Luck 50,000
[50] conspicuous premium, Top 20, Luck 200,000
[100] conspicuous premium, Top 20, Merit 50,000
[100] conspicuous premium, Top 20, Merit 200,000
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
UCLA Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
2015-06-30
IRB Approval Number
IRB#15-000953
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal

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Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is 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