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Preferences for redistribution and perceptions of inequality in Australia

Last registered on January 30, 2021


Trial Information

General Information

Preferences for redistribution and perceptions of inequality in Australia
Initial registration date
December 05, 2017

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
December 06, 2017, 12:02 PM EST

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

Last updated
January 30, 2021, 6:53 PM EST

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.



Primary Investigator


Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs

This project explores whether preferences for redistribution in Australia are reduced because people underestimate the level of inequality and overestimate the degree of social mobility. Studying these concepts interactively is consistent with a number of seminal models and provides important additional insight. This research will be conducted through an online experiment in Australia whereby ‘information interventions’ about inequality, mobility and a respondent's place in the distribution are provided to randomly selected treatment groups to see the impact on their preferences for redistribution. These information interventions are motivated by misperceptions of inequality and mobility that were revealed in a 2014 nationally representative survey (Norton et al, 2014).
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Hoy, Christopher. 2021. "Preferences for redistribution and perceptions of inequality in Australia." AEA RCT Registry. January 30.
Former Citation
Hoy, Christopher. 2021. "Preferences for redistribution and perceptions of inequality in Australia." AEA RCT Registry. January 30.
Experimental Details


The following ‘information interventions’ will be provided in the online experiments:
1) Information about the level of inequality and prospect for upward mobility
2) Information about a survey respondent's position in the income distribution
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
There are two main outcomes of interest. These are: 1) Concern about inequality 2) Preferences for redistribution (the survey in the documents section shows which questions are used to measure these outcomes)

The key research questions are as follows:
- What are the underlying preferences for redistribution in Australia?
- Are preferences for redistribution elastic?
- What types of information about inequality have the largest effect on preferences for redistribution?
- Will providing information about both inequality and mobility have a larger effect on preferences for redistribution than just providing information about inequality?
- Are people’s preferences for redistribution influenced more by information about their place in the distribution or information about a combination of the overall level of inequality and mobility?
- Are there differences in the elasticity of preferences for redistribution between right- and left-wing voters?

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 online survey experiments.

The experiment is randomized at the individual level. There will be 2 treatment groups and one control group with on average around 800 people in each. The treatment groups will receive one of the following interventions:

(T1) - information about inequality and mobility

(T2) - information about a respondent’s place in the distribution

Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
The randomization process occurred through a command in the survey firm’s customized software.
Randomization Unit
Individual level
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
7020 individuals in total across all three experiments
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
On average there will be around 800 individuals 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 7.5 percentage points (with power 0.8 and alpha 0.05) as the sample size is 800 in each group.
Supporting Documents and Materials

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Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Australian National University Asia Pacific Delegated Ethics Review Committee
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number