Cross country evidence about perceptions of inequality and support for redistribution
Last registered on May 17, 2018

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Cross country evidence about perceptions of inequality and support for redistribution
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0002534
Initial registration date
October 12, 2017
Last updated
May 17, 2018 9:45 PM EDT
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2017-10-13
End date
2018-09-30
Secondary IDs
Abstract
This study explores whether preferences for redistribution are reduced because people underestimate the level of inequality and overestimate the degree of social mobility in their country. In addition, it examines the degree that an individual’s perceived place in the income distribution effects their support for redistribution. This research will be conducted through online surveys in 10 countries whereby ‘information interventions’ are provided to randomly selected treatment groups to see the impact on their preferences for redistribution. These information interventions are motivated by existing surveys that have shown misperceptions of inequality and mobility exist in many countries around the world.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Hoy, Christopher and Franziska Mager. 2018. "Cross country evidence about perceptions of inequality and support for redistribution." AEA RCT Registry. May 17. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2534/history/29640
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Two types of ‘information interventions’ will be provided in the online survey in each country:

(T1) - information about the level of inequality and prospect for mobility in their country

(T2) - information about their place in the national income distribution
Intervention Start Date
2017-10-14
Intervention End Date
2017-11-30
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
There are two main outcomes of interest. These are:
1) Concern about inequality (measured in questions 8 and 9)
2) Preferences for redistribution (measured in questions 10 to 13)

(see the questionnaire in the documents section)

The key research questions are as follows:
- How accurately do people perceive inequality?
- Do people prefer lower levels of inequality then what currently exists?
- How accurately can people perceive their place in the national income distribution?
- What are the underlying preferences for redistribution in each country?
- Are preferences for redistribution elastic to information?
- What types of information about inequality have the largest effect on preferences for redistribution?
- Are people’s preferences for redistribution predominantly influenced by just their place in the distribution or a combination of the overall level of inequality and mobility?
- How do the answers to the questions above vary based upon the background characteristics of respondents, such as income, political preferences and gender?
- Does information about inequality effect people's beliefs about what the wage ratios are and should be between workers and CEOs?

(see the analysis plan in the documents section)
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
The impact of the information interventions will be evaluated via an online survey in 9 countries (UK, Spain, US, Netherlands, Mexico, South Africa, Nigeria, Morocco and India) in late 2017.

The experiment is designed as a randomized control trial at the individual level. There will be two treatment groups and one control group with 1000 people in each. Respondents in the treatment groups will receive one of the following ‘interventions’:

(T1) - information about the level of inequality and prospect for mobility in their country

(T2) - information about their place in the national income distribution

(see the content of the information interventions in the documents section)
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomisation was conducted using the survey firm’s software.

Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
N/A
Sample size: planned number of observations
3000 people in each country
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
1000 people in each treatment arm and the control group
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Power calculations have been conducted to estimate the sample size required based upon the average effect size and treatment group size of similar studies on this topic (eg Karadja et al (2017)). The minimum detectable effect size is around 6 percentage points (with power 0.8 and alpha 0.05) as the sample size is 1000 individuals in each group.
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Australian National University Asia Pacific Delegated Ethics Review Committee
IRB Approval Date
2017-09-11
IRB Approval Number
2017/638