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The Political Economy of Ethnicity in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Initial registration date
August 19, 2018
August 30, 2018 2:55 AM EDT
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Other Primary Investigator(s)
London School of Economics
University of Chicago
Additional Trial Information
We study the extent to which politics can shape ethnic preferences. We exploit time variation in political competition between ethnic groups caused by an episode of decentralization that increases in the number of provinces from 11 to 26 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Decentralization changes the extent to which different ethnic groups are key players in the political arena. In the region of interest, groups that were previously unimportant politically will become key players, and groups that were political competitors previously will gain majority control of their own province. We use a series of lab-in-the-field experiments, IATs, and surveys to examine how ethnic preferences change as a result of the decentralization process and evolve over time.
The study exploits time variation in political competition between ethnic groups due to an episode of decentralization that increases in the number of provinces from 11 to 26 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). With the decentralization, there will be significant changes in the extent to which different ethnic groups are key players in the political arena. In the region of interest, in some cases, groups that were previously unimportant politically will become key players e.g., the Kuba and Lele. In other cases, groups that were political competitors previously, due to the creation of smaller provinces, will each gain majority control of their own province e.g., Songe, Tetela, and Luba.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes (end points)
The outcome variables are choices made in the lab experiments, IAT measures, and survey measures related to ethnic preferences.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
We use a series of lab-in-the-field experiments, IATs, and surveys to examine how ethnic preferences change as a result of the decentralization process in DRC and how these preferences evolve over time.
Experimental Design Details
We exploit the time variation in the political competition between various ethnic groups induced by the decentralization process. Thus, all individuals are treated in the sense that they are all exposed to the changes in administrative boundaries due to decentralization. What will vary is the intensity of the change in relative position of ethnic groups vis a vis each other. E.g. in some cases, a group that was previously a minority group will become a majority group relative to other groups in the new administrative boundaries.
This is a natural experiment. Treatment will vary at the individual-ethnicity pair level. All individuals are treated in that they are all exposed to the changes in administrative boundaries, what varies is the intensity of treatment across ethnicity pairs.
Was the treatment clustered?
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
We intend to collect around 300 observations per round of data collection. We have collected data from 2014, 2015, and 2016.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
The intended sample size is approximately 300 individuals per year of data collection. To date we have collected data in 2014, 2015, and 2016. The final sample size will be around 1,800.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number