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How Research Affects Policy: Evidence from a Policy--Adoption Experiment
Last registered on June 05, 2019

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
How Research Affects Policy: Evidence from a Policy--Adoption Experiment
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0004273
Initial registration date
June 03, 2019
Last updated
June 05, 2019 2:21 PM EDT
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Harvard University
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
PUC Rio
PI Affiliation
University of California, Davis
PI Affiliation
Columbia University
Additional Trial Information
Status
Completed
Start date
2016-10-24
End date
2019-06-01
Secondary IDs
Abstract
We use a larger-scale experiment conducted with 1,818 Brazilian municipalities to estimate the impact of providing research information to policymakers on actual policy adoption. A randomly selected treatment group of 881 mayors was invited to attend an hour-long research information session. An experienced presenter informed attending mayors about a set of rigorous research studies showing large effects of a taxpayer reminder letter policy on tax compliance. 15 to 24 months later, we re-interview tax-department bureaucrats and mayors about policy adoption.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Hjort, Jonas et al. 2019. " How Research Affects Policy: Evidence from a Policy--Adoption Experiment ." AEA RCT Registry. June 05. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.4273-1.0.
Former Citation
Hjort, Jonas et al. 2019. " How Research Affects Policy: Evidence from a Policy--Adoption Experiment ." AEA RCT Registry. June 05. http://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/4273/history/47589.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
A subset of the elected mayors in the 2016 municipal election was randomly invited to attend an information session at a national conference of municipalities. Randomization was stratified on mayor education level, mayor term limit, public employees' average education level, number of inhabitants, Gini coefficient and region of the municipality. Our sample consists of 881 municipalities in the treatment group and 937 municipalities in the control group. The session provided information about research on a policy designed to increase tax-compliance. Specifically, the findings were about the effectiveness of tax reminder letters to increase tax compliance.
Intervention Start Date
2016-10-24
Intervention End Date
2016-11-11
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Policy adoption, beliefs about effectiveness
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
A subset of the elected mayors in the 2016 municipal election was randomly invited to attend an information session at a national conference of municipalities. Randomization was stratified on mayor education level, mayor term limit, public employees' average education level, number of inhabitants, Gini coefficient and region of the municipality. Our sample consists of 881 municipalities in the treatment group and 937 municipalities in the control group. The session provided information about research on a policy designed to increase tax-compliance. Specifically, the findings were about the effectiveness of tax reminder letters to increase tax compliance.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Municipalities
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
1,818
Sample size: planned number of observations
1,818
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
881 municipalities in the treatment group and 937 municipalities in the control group
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Study has received IRB approval. Details not available.
IRB Approval Date
Details not available
IRB Approval Number
Details not available
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