Voter Learning and Support for Democratic Institutions (with supporting documentation)

Last registered on June 06, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

Voter Learning and Support for Democratic Institutions (with supporting documentation)
Initial registration date
May 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
June 06, 2023, 9:12 AM EDT

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


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Primary Investigator

University of Toronto

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
PI Affiliation
PI Affiliation

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
There is widespread concern about the reported global democratic decline and its implications for economic growth. A critical factor that may determine the future of democracy is voter understanding and engagement in improving the quality of democratic institutions. However, it remains unclear how voters assess these institutions and if they have a shared view of which political parties uphold them. This study aims to evaluate the effect of credible information about democratic institutions on voter behavior and beliefs in Turkey using a large-scale experimental information campaign, electoral data, and survey data.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Acemoglu, Daron et al. 2023. "Voter Learning and Support for Democratic Institutions (with supporting documentation)." AEA RCT Registry. June 06.
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
At the ballot box and neighborhood level, our primary outcomes are the 2023 May 14 presidential and general electoral results and the May 28 run off election results. At the individual level, examples of our primary outcome variables include i) survey data on voters' views about the causal relationship between democratic institutions and various outcomes like corruption; ii) views about the quality of democratic institutions and general questions on democratic norms; iii) affective polarization; iv) voting behavior in the May 14 and May 28 general and presidential elections; and v) questions about social interactions and views of respondents' neighbors.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We randomized the rollout of an information campaign at the neighborhood level. In addition, neighborhoods were randomly assigned to a second treatment arm in which voters were exposed to campaigns with only persuasive content (``slogans"). We also cross-randomized the information source of the two campaigns across three types of sources. Randomization was stratified by six quantiles of the 2018 vote share for the National Alliance to estimate heterogeneous treatment effects and to increase statistical power. We selected a well-balanced draw from among 100000 re-randomizations to avoid other chance imbalances for each treatment arm.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Main study: Neighborhood level randomization for the door-to-door campaigns and ballot-box and neighborhood level analyses. Residential unit level randomization for the door-to-door campaigns and survey-based individual-level analyses. Individual level for the online experiment.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Main study: 554 neighborhoods; residential unit randomization: 2872 residential units
Sample size: planned number of observations
Main study: All ballot boxes contained in the 554 neighborhoods (the 2023 electoral data has not been released and so do not know the total number of ballot boxes in our sample yet). Residential-unit level randomization: 3,020 voters
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
252 treatment neighborhoods and 302 control neighborhoods
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Committee on the Use of Humans as Experimental Subjects, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
IRB Name
Bilimsel Araştırma ve Yayın Etiği Kurulunun, Bahcesehir University
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

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