Religion, Leadership and Coordination: Evidence from a Lab Experiment in the Field

Last registered on July 26, 2017


Trial Information

General Information

Religion, Leadership and Coordination: Evidence from a Lab Experiment in the Field
Initial registration date
July 25, 2017
Last updated
July 26, 2017, 11:17 AM EDT



Primary Investigator

University of Notre Dame

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Universidad Carlos III Madrid
PI Affiliation
University of Essex
PI Affiliation
University of Gothenburg

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
We conduct coordination games in order to understand how citizens' actions and expectations respond to the religious identity of their leader. Groups are randomly assigned to leaders of different religions, and their responses in the coordination game are compared. We also examine whether pre-game announcements and activities shape the responses in the coordination game.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

, et al. 2017. "Religion, Leadership and Coordination: Evidence from a Lab Experiment in the Field." AEA RCT Registry. July 26.
Former Citation
, et al. 2017. "Religion, Leadership and Coordination: Evidence from a Lab Experiment in the Field." AEA RCT Registry. July 26.
Experimental Details


We conducted coordination games in the field, across different locations of Uttar Pradesh state in northern India. We plan to measure the impact of several interventions: (1) the assignment of a leader to the group in an effort to mitigate coordination failure, (2) assignment of leaders of different religions in order to see whether the religious identity of the leader matters for coordination, (3) pre-game announcement of an affirmative action policy with regard to leader assignment and (4) pre-game contact between members of different religions. The interventions are planned to be conducted with 1056 participants across 44 sites with differing social and demographic characteristics, and including areas with and without a history of religious conflict.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
(1) The minimum effort exerted by each group in each round.
(2) Effort choices of each participant in each round.
(3) Proposals made by each leader about the level of effort to be exerted by members of the firm
(4) Social appropriateness of exerting different levels of effort under leaders of different religious identities.
(5) Social appropriateness of different aspects of inter-religious interactions
(6) Responses to survey questions.
(7) In addition to examining the response of these outcomes to the interventions discussed above, we will also conduct heterogeneity analysis across areas of varying societal and demographic characteristics.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Our experiment is conducted across 44 sites in northern India. Within each site, we have six groups of four players each in the coordination game. Leaders of different religions are assigned randomly across these six groups within each site. Further, different sites are randomly assigned to different interventions: 15 sites have an announcement that the leaders have been chosen subject to affirmative action rules, 15 sites have a pre-game activity that brings together participants of different religions and 14 sites are control sites without such pre-game interventions.

Following the coordination game, participants also answer a series of questions about social norms and what is considered appropriate behavior in their community. Participants are incentivized to answer about the prevalent views in the community rather than their own personal views. Participants also answer a short survey about their personal and demographic characteristics and their views on political leaders and governance.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization was done in the office by a computer.
Randomization Unit
Site-level randomization was done for the contact activity and the affirmative action announcement. Group-level randomization was done for assigning leaders of different religious identities.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
44 sites, 6 groups in each site, for a total of 264 group.
Sample size: planned number of observations
4 participants in each group, for a total of 1056 participants.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Site level randomization: 15 sites with affirmative action announcement, 15 sites with pre-game contact activity, 14 controls.

Group level randomization: 132 groups with Hindu leaders and 132 groups with Muslim leaders.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of Notre Dame
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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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