x

Please fill out this short user survey of only 3 questions in order to help us improve the site. We appreciate your feedback!
Pre-analysis plan: Are voters difference-in-differences estimators? Evidence from experimentally benchmarking recent and longer-term municipal homicide rates in Mexico
Last registered on July 02, 2018

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Pre-analysis plan: Are voters difference-in-differences estimators? Evidence from experimentally benchmarking recent and longer-term municipal homicide rates in Mexico
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0003113
Initial registration date
June 28, 2018
Last updated
July 02, 2018 5:03 PM EDT
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Columbia University
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2018-06-14
End date
2018-07-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Drawing inference about incumbent quality or effort from incumbent performance underpins electoral accountability. However, interpreting a performance signal is often complicated by the myriad of unit-specific and period-specific factors beyond the incumbent's control that also influence observable outcomes. Providing voters with benchmarks has the potential to help them to filter the signal from the noise. This project experimentally compares and combines spatial and temporal benchmarks in the context of providing information about recent or longer-term municipal homicide rates across Mexico. Specifically, I assess spatial benchmarks, temporal benchmarks, and a difference-in-differences combination of the two. Leveraging a panel of voters from large municipalities holding municipal elections on July 1, 2018, I examine which benchmarks are most relevant to voters by comparing the effects of different types and combinations of benchmarks on voters' beliefs and self-reported municipal and presidential vote choices, as well as the extent to which voters are able to process benchmarked information---a likely necessary condition for observing any effect.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Marshall, John. 2018. "Pre-analysis plan: Are voters difference-in-differences estimators? Evidence from experimentally benchmarking recent and longer-term municipal homicide rates in Mexico." AEA RCT Registry. July 02. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.3113-2.0.
Former Citation
Marshall, John. 2018. "Pre-analysis plan: Are voters difference-in-differences estimators? Evidence from experimentally benchmarking recent and longer-term municipal homicide rates in Mexico." AEA RCT Registry. July 02. http://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/3113/history/31421.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Political accountability is generally regarded as being a central pillar ensuring good governance and its socioeconomic benefits. However, and particularly in developing contexts where governance is weakest, holding politicians to account is challenging for many voters due to their lack of useful information about the actions of their representatives in office. Building on a variety of recent studies examining the effects of information dissemination on electoral, this study focuses on the types of incumbent performance information that influence voters, differentiating recent and longer-term performance and different types of performance benchmark.

I seek to estimate the effects of providing recent v. longer-term information about municipal homicide outcomes on incumbent appraisals and electoral support. To examine the relevance of different types of benchmark, I will compare providing information about each homicide metric with (i) a spatial benchmark (average neighboring municipal administration), (ii) a temporal benchmark (the previous municipal administration), or (iii) a difference-in-differences benchmark. A variety of questions are designed to establish whether the information was understood and illuminate the mechanisms underlying any treatment effects.
Intervention Start Date
2018-06-14
Intervention End Date
2018-06-27
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Vote choice and voter posterior beliefs
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Field experiment randomizing the provision of text-based and infographic municipal homicide data as part of a panel survey conducted around the 2018 Mexican elections. There are 10 treatment conditions, including a pure control, placebo control, 4 factorial benchmarks relating to recent homicide information, and 4 factorial benchmarks relating to longer-term homicide rates under the current municipal administration.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
By computer
Randomization Unit
Individual respondent
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
NA
Sample size: planned number of observations
c.3,000 respondents
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
In expectation, 300 respondents per treatment arm at baseline, and 200 at endline
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
0.29 at baseline and 0.24 at endline for a comparison between any treatment condition. Lower MDEs after pooling across similar treatment conditions.
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Columbia Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
2018-06-13
IRB Approval Number
IRB-AAAR9123
Analysis Plan

There are documents in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access to this information.

Request Information
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, Papers & Other Materials
Relevant Paper(s)
REPORTS & OTHER MATERIALS