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Immigration and Redistribution
Last registered on September 24, 2018

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Immigration and Redistribution
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0003342
Initial registration date
September 24, 2018
Last updated
September 24, 2018 8:00 PM EDT
Location(s)
Region
Region
Region
Region
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Harvard University
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Harvard University
PI Affiliation
Harvard University
Additional Trial Information
Status
Completed
Start date
2017-10-11
End date
2018-02-28
Secondary IDs
Abstract
We design and conduct large-scale surveys and experiments in six countries to investigate how natives perceive immigrants and how perceptions influence their preferences for redistribution. We collect respondents’ detailed, quantitative perceptions about immigrants’ numbers, origins, religion, net benefits received, unemployment rate, poverty, and education. We compare these perceptions to reality and assess how accurate they are. We also ask detailed questions about support for various tax and transfer policies, social insurance, and migration policies. This allows us to study the correlation between perceptions of immigration and support for redistributive policies. In addition, we perform four randomized experimental treatments, to check that the correlations between immigration perceptions and policies are causal. We randomize the order of questions about immigration and about redistribution. We also experimentally show respondents information about the true i) number, ii) origin and iii) “hard work” of immigrants in their country.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Alesina, Alberto, Armando Miano and Stefanie Stantcheva. 2018. "Immigration and Redistribution." AEA RCT Registry. September 24. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.3342-1.0.
Former Citation
Alesina, Alberto et al. 2018. "Immigration and Redistribution." AEA RCT Registry. September 24. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/3342/history/34752.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
We run online surveys in six countries. We recruit participants through professional survey companies to ensure that our sample is representative of each country's population along key dimensions - gender, income, and age. Only natives (non-immigrants) between 18 and 70 years of age are allowed to take the survey.
Intervention Start Date
2017-10-11
Intervention End Date
2018-02-28
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Misperceptions of immigrants characteristics, views on immigration policies, views on redistribution policies, real outcome (donation to charity).
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Misperceptions are defined as the difference between perceived and actual statistics about immigrants (share of foreign-born, unemployment, poverty rate etc.).
Views on immigration policies are captured by answers to the following questions: how much immigration there should be, whether the government should care equally about immigrants and natives, when immigrants should be eligible for benefits, when they should be able to get citizenship and vote, and when they would be considered to be truly part of the country.
Views on redistribution policies are captured by answers to the following questions: preferred progressivity of the tax system, preferred allocation of budgetary funds, should the government increase funding for schooling, housing, and income support programs for low-income people, whether income inequality a problem, should the government care about income inequality.
Finally, we tell respondents that they have been automatically enrolled in a lottery to win $1000. Before they know whether they have won or not, they need to commit to donating none of it, part of it, or all of it to one or two charities (targeted towards low-income adults or children in general and not concerned with immigrants particularly and popular and well-perceived in each country). We use the amount respondents wish to donate as (real) measure of support for private redistribution.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
In the surveys, we collect respondents’ detailed, quantitative perceptions about immigrants’ numbers, origins, religion, net benefits received, unemployment rate, poverty, and education. We also ask detailed questions about support for various tax and transfer policies, social insurance, and migration policies. To capture respondents' perceptions we use various visualization tools, such as sliders and interactive pie charts. In addition, we perform four randomized experimental treatments. The first treatment consists in randomizing the order of questions about immigration and about redistribution: half of the respondents are shown the immigration block before the redistribution block, the other half answer questions in the opposite order. In the remaining three treatments we show respondents information about the true i) number, ii) origin and iii) “hard work” of immigrants in their country, respectively. Respondents are randomly split between one control group and three treatment groups. Respondents in each treatment group are shown only one piece of information, those in the control group are shown no information. In the U.S. we also run a follow-up to check persistency of treatment effects. Respondents are recontacted 7-10 days after they have completed the main survey.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Respondents are randomly assigned to control and treatment groups by the Qualtrics software.
Randomization Unit
We randomize participants in control and treatment groups within each country
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
6 countries
Sample size: planned number of observations
22,000 respondents
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
1,000 respondents for each group in each country
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Supporting Documents and Materials

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IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Committee on the Use of Human Subjects - Harvard University
IRB Approval Date
2017-12-12
IRB Approval Number
IRB17-1154
Analysis Plan

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Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
Yes
Intervention Completion Date
February 28, 2018, 12:00 AM +00:00
Is data collection complete?
Yes
Data Collection Completion Date
February 28, 2018, 12:00 AM +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
6 Coutries
22,506 respondents in total.
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
No
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
22,506
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
No
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers