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Preferences for redistribution and perceptions of inequality in Australia

Last registered on April 17, 2020


Trial Information

General Information

Preferences for redistribution and perceptions of inequality in Australia
Initial registration date
December 05, 2017
Last updated
April 17, 2020, 2:44 AM EDT



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. 2020. "Preferences for redistribution and perceptions of inequality in Australia." AEA RCT Registry. April 17.
Former Citation
Hoy, Christopher and Christopher Hoy. 2020. "Preferences for redistribution and perceptions of inequality in Australia." AEA RCT Registry. April 17.
Experimental Details


Various combinations of the following three ‘information interventions’ will be provided in the online experiment:

1) Information about the Level of Inequality in Indonesia
2) Information about the Prospect for Upward Mobility in Indonesia
3) Information about a survey respondents Place in 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?

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. This survey will be conducted in late 2017.

The experiment is a randomized control trial at the individual level. There will be 3 treatment groups and one control group with 800 people in each. The three 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

(T3) - information about inequality and mobility PLUS 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
3200 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
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