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When Less is More: Experimental Evidence on Information Delivery during India's Demonetization
Last registered on April 11, 2018

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
When Less is More: Experimental Evidence on Information Delivery during India's Demonetization
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0002881
Initial registration date
April 09, 2018
Last updated
April 11, 2018 11:41 AM EDT
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Stanford
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Harvard
PI Affiliation
MIT
PI Affiliation
Harvard
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2016-12-01
End date
2019-01-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
How should policymakers disseminate information: by broadcasting or letting word spread from a small number of “seeds”? While conventional wisdom suggests broadcasting is better, we show theoretically and experimentally that this may not hold when people need to ask questions to fully comprehend the information. During the 2016 Indian demonetization, we varied how official policy information was delivered on two dimensions: how many were initially informed and whether it was disclosed publicly who was initially informed. Our results are consistent with the model: when who is informed is commonly known, telling more individuals leads to fewer conversations and inferior knowledge.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Banerjee, Abhijit et al. 2018. "When Less is More: Experimental Evidence on Information Delivery during India's Demonetization." AEA RCT Registry. April 11. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.2881-1.0.
Former Citation
Banerjee, Abhijit et al. 2018. "When Less is More: Experimental Evidence on Information Delivery during India's Demonetization." AEA RCT Registry. April 11. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2881/history/28036.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
We conducted a core 2x2 design crossed with a third arm.

The 2x2 design varied:
1) whether information about demonetization was broadcast to all households or simply 5 households (seeds)
2) whether there was or not common knowledge of this

This was crossed with whether the information pamphlet had 2 facts or 24 facts on it (short or long).


The randomization was done at the village level.
Intervention Start Date
2016-12-10
Intervention End Date
2017-02-28
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Number of conversations; Knowledge of demonetization rules; Choice of keeping an old Rs. 500 note vs taking Rs. 200 (delayed)
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
We conducted a core 2x2 design crossed with a third arm.

The 2x2 design varied:
1) whether information about demonetization was broadcast to all households or simply 5 households (seeds)
2) whether there was or not common knowledge of this

This was crossed with whether the information pamphlet had 2 facts or 24 facts on it (short or long).


The randomization was done at the village level.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Computer
Randomization Unit
Village
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
276 villages; 225 for the 8 cells above
Sample size: planned number of observations
Same as above
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
1/8th per cell
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Stanford
IRB Approval Date
2016-12-10
IRB Approval Number
35996
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers