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Behavioral Effects of Priming Aid Dependence
Last registered on February 21, 2017


Trial Information
General Information
Behavioral Effects of Priming Aid Dependence
Initial registration date
February 21, 2017
Last updated
February 21, 2017 2:35 PM EST
Primary Investigator
Princeton Unviersity
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
While economists, policymakers, and other researchers have studied the effects of foreign aid on government processes and macroeconomic variables, few have explored the individual-level psychological effects of living in a country that is heavily dependent on foreign assistance. In this study, we randomly assigned residents of informal settlements in Kenya to one of three priming treatments in a laboratory setting. The treatments either primed the belief that Kenya is dependent on foreign aid, that Kenya is self-sufficient, or neither belief. The primes consisted of a screensavers, a short video presentation, and a writing task. After the primes, we measured their effects on honesty, effort provision, and a number of psychological variables. This document outlines the econometric methods we will use to assess the effect of the primes on these outcome variables.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Haushofer, Johannes. 2017. "Behavioral Effects of Priming Aid Dependence." AEA RCT Registry. February 21. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.2026-1.0.
Former Citation
Haushofer, Johannes. 2017. "Behavioral Effects of Priming Aid Dependence." AEA RCT Registry. February 21. http://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2026/history/14245.
Experimental Details
Each participant was randomized into one of three conditions: aid dependency, self-sufficiency, or control. In each of these conditions, participants were exposed to a prime consisting of three components: computer screensaver images, short video presentations, and a writing task in which participants are asked to summarize the main point of the videos.
In the aid dependency condition, the prime consisted of the following components. First, as the experimenter read aloud instructions for the session, participants were shown the logos of thirteen different aid organizations on their screens as a screensaver. The organizations included both in- ternational and national NGOs, and all images were vetted for familiarity before the study. Later in the study, the screensaver was re-administered for 30 seconds to refresh their priming effect (see below for order of tasks).
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Effort provision, honesty, self-esteem, internal locus of control
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
The study was conducted at the Busara Center for Behavioral Economics (Busara) in Nairobi, Kenya, a facility specially designed for experimental economics and psychology studies. Busara maintains an active participant pool of more than 12,000 Nairobi residents. For the present study, 449 participants who had previously signed up to be part of the Busara participant pool were recruited from Kawangware and Kibera, two informal settlements in Nairobi. Participants were recruited using phone calls. In the recruitment phone call, participants were told that they were invited to participate in a study being conducted by behavioral economics researchers. They were informed that they would be paid KES 300 for their participation and have the opportunity to earn more during the study. To minimize demand effects, they were also told clearly that no government or outside organization was sponsoring the study.
The sample included both males and female university students over eighteen years of age. Partic- ipants had previously been vetted to ensure that they were able to comprehend both written and spoken English and Swahili.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Each of the 467 participants was randomly assigned to one of the three experimental conditions , resulting in 162 participants in the aid dependency condition, 153 in the self-sufficiency condition, and 152 in the control condition.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
A power analysis shows that these numbers result in 93.6% power to detect a treatment effect of 0.4 standard deviations, and have 80% power to detect 0.322 SD effects.
IRB Name
Princeton Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan
Analysis Plan Documents
Behavioral Effects of Priming Aid Dependence: Pre-Analysis Plan

MD5: 1c636a865ddfa69e0ab063f2387d38f4

SHA1: 092f089128fe3848a23c987aa4f21272ce35bdf6

Uploaded At: February 20, 2017

Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Is the intervention completed?
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
Program Files
Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials
Relevant Paper(s)