The Effect of Exposure to Political Violence on Donations, Free Riding Behavior and Beliefs

Last registered on July 08, 2019

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
The Effect of Exposure to Political Violence on Donations, Free Riding Behavior and Beliefs
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0004419
Initial registration date
July 04, 2019
Last updated
July 08, 2019, 10:22 AM EDT

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
University of Maryland

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Warwick

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2019-07-15
End date
2019-10-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Civil conflicts kill and injure millions of people, and leave many more destitute. They expose individuals to gruesome violence either as witnesses, victims or perpetrators. Armed conflict environments create an acceptable climate for violence, reduce individuals’ inhibitions against violent acts, and lead to the normalization of violence in everyday life. It is very likely that such experiences affect people psychologically, and that these effects manifest themselves in different ways in interpersonal relations, and in economic and political life even long after the conflict is over. Nevertheless, there exist few studies analyzing individual level data on actual exposure to political violence in a civil conflict context to decipher the effects on behavior.

This projects aims to study the relationship between the exposure to civil conflict violence and individual cooperation. Our study will use a novel way of identifying exogenous variation of exposure to violence. Our project will conduct a large scale survey and collect several measures of violence (including binary and continuous measures) in addition to many other important information on individuals. (Due to the sensitive nature of our project, until the project is completed, we will not disclose further information regarding our measures of violence). Our survey will incorporate an incentivized field experiment in which individuals will make a donation towards a charitable cause out of an endowment that is given to them. They will be told that one other randomly selected individual that is participating in the survey and themselves will jointly give to an anonymous poor family. They will not be told the identity or the donation of the other person. They will only be told that the poor family will receive the total donations made by themselves and this other randomly selected individual. While half of individuals in our sample will decide how much to give to a poor family that lives in a non-conflict region, the other half will decide how much to give to a poor family that lives in a conflict region. After individuals complete their donation decisions, they will also be asked about their beliefs (as a surprise question) regarding how much the other person donates. Similar to their donation decisions, belief elicitation is also incentivized.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Kibris, Arzu and Neslihan Uler. 2019. "The Effect of Exposure to Political Violence on Donations, Free Riding Behavior and Beliefs." AEA RCT Registry. July 08. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.4419-1.0
Former Citation
Kibris, Arzu, Neslihan Uler and Neslihan Uler. 2019. "The Effect of Exposure to Political Violence on Donations, Free Riding Behavior and Beliefs." AEA RCT Registry. July 08. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/4419/history/49450
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
In our study, out of a fixed amount of money, each individual will decide how much to donate and how much to keep for themselves. In our control arm, individuals will be asked to make donation decisions to a needy family that is located in a non-conflict region. In our treatment arm, individuals will be asked to make donation decisions to a needy family that is located in a conflict region. Due to the sensitive nature of our project, until the project is completed, we will not disclose information on the specific regions we are using in our experiment.
In addition to making donation decisions individuals will also be asked to report their beliefs about what the other person donates. They will receive additional payment if their guess is accurate (up to a certain range).
Intervention Start Date
2019-07-15
Intervention End Date
2019-10-31

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Donation to the poor family
Belief on how much the other individual donates
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
We ask several important questions.
1. Do individuals donate differently to a poor family living in a conflict region versus in a non-conflict region? Do beliefs differ when individuals are donating to a family that lives in a conflict region versus in a non-conflict region?
2. Does the exposure to political violence affect donations and beliefs?
3. Does the relationship between the degree of violence exposure and donations/beliefs depend on whether poor family lives in a conflict versus non-conflict region?

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
We also plan to compare donations of individuals in this study versus donations of individuals in a related (but separate) study, “Exposure to Political Violence and Preferences for Giving.” In this other study, individuals are also asked to donate to a poor family, but they are not paired up with another individual. Therefore, their donation itself determines how much the poor family will receive. While in that study there is limited free riding incentives, in this study individuals could free ride on the other individual’s donation. We will study whether the degree of free riding depend on the exposure to political violence as well as where the poor family is located.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
In our study, each individual is asked to decide, out of a fixed endowment given to them, how much to keep for themselves and how much to donate to a poor family. Individuals are told that their own donations and one other randomly selected participant’s donations together will actually be sent to this poor family. The amount that is not donated by the individuals will be given to the individuals for them to keep.

625 individuals will be in the control arm and matched with a poor family in a non-conflict region. Another 625 individuals will be in the treatment arm and matched with a poor family in a conflict region.

Second, we ask individuals to report their beliefs about how much the other randomly selected individual donates. If they are correct (up to a certain degree of error), then they will receive additional payment.

Our study provides real monetary incentives and an actual donation decision. Due to the difficulties involved in paying every participant, only 4 people out of 1250 (one pair from the control arm and one pair from the treatment arm) will be randomly selected at the end of the study and will receive payment based on the decisions they make in the experiment. While only four people are getting paid, the endowment is substantial, i.e., it equals approximately one month worth of minimum wage in the country that the study will take place.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Surveys will be conducted at residential addresses which have been randomly selected by the XXX Institute of Statistics from the Address Based Population Registry System that the Institute is maintaining.
Randomization Unit
Individual level
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
1,250 men
Sample size: planned number of observations
1,250 men will make two decisions each.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
625 men will be in the control arm and 625 men will be in the treatment arm.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
European Research Council Executive Agency (ERCEA) scientific ethics panel
IRB Approval Date
2018-11-26
IRB Approval Number
ERC-STG-677627

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
No
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