Representation through Information: Bringing Politician Actions Closer to Citizen Preferences
Last registered on August 02, 2018

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Representation through Information: Bringing Politician Actions Closer to Citizen Preferences
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0003194
Initial registration date
July 31, 2018
Last updated
August 02, 2018 1:51 AM EDT
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Harvard University
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2018-07-10
End date
2019-12-30
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Do politicians possess accurate information about citizen preferences and can better information bring politicians' actions closer to citizen preferences? In collaboration with the two largest political parties in Pakistan, I test how accurate local politicians' beliefs are about citizen preferences and conduct interventions aimed at reducing the distance between politician actions and citizen preferences.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Liaqat, Asad. 2018. "Representation through Information: Bringing Politician Actions Closer to Citizen Preferences ." AEA RCT Registry. August 02. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/3194/history/32510
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
The interventions involve (a) providing local politicians with accurate information on citizen preferences and (b) giving them information about how accurate their existing beliefs about citizen preferences are.
Intervention Start Date
2018-07-10
Intervention End Date
2018-10-31
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Policy recommendations to political party
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Demand for information, justifications for policy recommendations, willingness to take up a government scheme, proxy for honesty, perception of representatives
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Individual local elected representatives are cross-randomized into the following treatment arms:

(1) Receiving information about the preferences of (one of six possible subsets of) citizens from within their National Assembly constituency.

(2) Receiving information on how accurate their prior beliefs about citizen preferences are.

The design includes two further cross-randomizations at the politician level, aimed at testing the sensitivity of treatment effects to potential design effects.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office on a computer
Randomization Unit
Individual local representatives randomized into experimental groups as described in the experimental design section.
Policy issues within each treatment local representative randomized into treatment or within-treatment-cluster controls.
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
720 local representatives
Sample size: planned number of observations
6480 policy recommendations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Preferences information treatment:
2/3 local representatives to receive preferences information. Within this group, 1/6 each to receive preferences of a different subset.

Accuracy treatment:
1/2 local representatives to receive accuracy information.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Committee on the Use of Human Subjects, Harvard University
IRB Approval Date
2018-06-19
IRB Approval Number
IRB 18-0784