Eliciting Trust and Reciprocity in a Multi-ethnic Context
Last registered on April 26, 2016

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Eliciting Trust and Reciprocity in a Multi-ethnic Context
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0001206
Initial registration date
April 26, 2016
Last updated
April 26, 2016 10:44 AM EDT
Location(s)
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Yunnan Normal University
PI Affiliation
Toulouse School of Economics
PI Affiliation
Yunnan Normal University
PI Affiliation
IPAG Business School
PI Affiliation
Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2016-05-23
End date
2016-06-30
Secondary IDs
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to use economic experiments to measure trust, trustworthiness and reciprocity in a setting with a particular ethnic and religious composition, the Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, in the Yunnan Province in Southwest China. The Dai ethnic group, a minority at the Chinese-wide level, is majoritarian in Xishuangbanna with 29.9% of the population. The country’s majoritarian ethnic group, the Han-Chinese, occupies the second place within Xishuangbanna with 29.1% of the population. Besides, there are another seven ethnic groups with at least 1% of Xishuangbanna’s total population. This large ethinic diversity is accompanied by variation in religious affiliations between and within ethnic groups, including Buddhists, Protestants, Muslims and Christians.
We aim to use this ethnic and religious diversity to explore how preferences and behavior differ in economic interactions according to the primed characteristics from the subjects with which they will interact with. Economic experiments have been shown to be helpful in the elicitation of preferences when is monetarily costly to declare what might be socially expected but does not reveal the participants’ tastes (Fershtman and Gneezy, 2001; Habyarimana et al. 2007). Our experiment comprises two well-known economic games, a trust game (Block 1 - 5 rounds) and a public goods game with punishment (Block 2 - 5 rounds). In the trust game there will be a quasi-random rematching after every round, aiming to allow each subject to interact at least two times with subjects from their own ethnic group and another two times with subjects from a different ethnic group. Either the ethnic affiliation or the religious confession from the other group member will be revealed in each round of the game. In the public goods game with punishment subjects will be assigned to groups of four participants. Within each session we will have homogeneous and heterogeneous groups in terms of declared ethnicity. After the allocation stage, the contribution of each group member will be publicly revealed (with game IDs, not their actual identity), and subjects will have a chance to incur in a costly punishment.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Mantilla, César et al. 2016. "Eliciting Trust and Reciprocity in a Multi-ethnic Context." AEA RCT Registry. April 26. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/1206/history/7933
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
We will perform a lab-in-the-field experiment in groups of twenty participants using tablets. Participants in each session will come from two different groups, usually defined by different ethnic affiliations.
Intervention Start Date
2016-05-23
Intervention End Date
2016-06-30
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
In this lab-in-the field experiment we are interested in four outcomes:
- The amount sent by the first mover in a trust game, and how it is affected by the beliefs about the recipient of this transfer. We will prime in two out of five rounds the second mover's ethnicity, while in another two rounds we will prime the religious confession of the second mover (if any).
- The amount sent back by the second mover in a trust game, and how it is affected by the beliefs about the sender of the initial transfer. We will prime in two out of five rounds the first mover's ethnicity, while in another two rounds we will prime the religious confession of the first mover (if any).
- The amount contributed by each group member in the public goods game, depending on the group composition (homogeneous/heterogeneous groups in terms of ethnicity).
- The presence of selective punishment. That is, given a contribution level from another group member, if there is a higher or lower likelihood of punishment for group members of the same/a different ethnic affiliation.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
We will set up a lab-in-the-field experiment. We aim to run sessions of 20 participants each, although it may be possible to run session with at least twelve participants depending on the circumstances. In the trust game the participant's role, sender or receiver, is fixed throughout all the block of five rounds. A random reshuffling procedure is applied between rounds. In rounds 2 and 4 participants are informed about their partner’s ethnicity. In rounds 3 and 5 participants are informed about their partner’s religious affiliation. One round from Block 1 is randomly selected to be paid.
In the public goods game with punishment groups of four participants are fixed at the beginning of the block. Within session, 40% of the groups have a homogeneous composition in terms of ethnicity. The remaining 60% are mixed in terms of ethnicity. Group composition (ethnicity) is announced at the contribution stage. During the punishment stage is revealed, with an experimental ID, the contribution and the ethnicity of each group member. All five rounds of Block 2 are paid at the end.
At the end of the two games we will make a short survey.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Two steps of randomization: when subjects arrived to the session site they draw a paper indicating the tablet number that will be given to them. Afterwards, the computer will quasi-randomly assign the roles of first mover or second mover to the experimental subjects. The only restriction, making the assignment quasi-random, is that player types (first mover/second mover) will be balanced within ethnic affiliations/religious confessions.
Randomization Unit
Experimental sessions. Assignment is random at the individual level.
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
We will draw participants from different communities. Each community being highly homogeneous in terms of ethnic and religious composition. Taking each community as a cluster, we expect to have 5 to 8 clusters.
Sample size: planned number of observations
600 participants.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Three ethnic groups (Dai, Han, Bulang) + Two religions (Buddhist, Christian). We expect to run 4-5 sessions for each one of these combinations:
Han-Buddhist + Han-Christian
Da-Buddhist + Dai-Christian
Dai-Buddshit + Bulang-Buddhist
Han-Buddhist + Bulang-Buddhist
Dai-Buddhist + Han-Buddhist
Dai-Christian + Bulang-Buddhist
Han-Christian + Dai-Buddshit
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
For measures at the pair level in the trust game, such as the amount sent, we will have 240-300 independent observations to compare the effect of being paired with someone of the same/a different identity (either ethnic or religious affiliation). Based on data from the pilot, with a standard deviation of 12.5 units we will be able to detect a delta in-between 4.05-4.50 with alpha 0.05 and power 0.80. For measures at the group level in the public goods games such as the contribution, we will have 150 independent observations divided on homogeneous/heterogeneous group composition. Based on data from the pilot, with a standard deviation of 3.6 units we will be able to detect a delta of 1.65 with alpha 0.05 and power 0.80.
Supporting Documents and Materials

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IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
TSE-IAST Review Board for Ethical Standards
IRB Approval Date
2016-04-26
IRB Approval Number
Reference code 2016-03-002
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers