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Prosociality across Socio-Economic Disparities: Trust, Cooperation and Generosity in Argentina
Last registered on November 04, 2019

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Prosociality across Socio-Economic Disparities: Trust, Cooperation and Generosity in Argentina
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0004971
Initial registration date
November 02, 2019
Last updated
November 04, 2019 10:17 AM EST
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
New York University Abu Dhabi
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Status
Completed
Start date
2019-05-27
End date
2019-08-16
Secondary IDs
Abstract
The aim of the study is to explore differences in prosocial behavior across socioeconomic classes. In order to do so, we did an experiment with 513 high school students in Argentina coming from an array of socio-economic backgrounds. We randomly assigned treatment of equal and unequal endowments at the classroom level and studied their behavior in a dictator and trust game. We further captured data related to their valuation of generosity, trust, and friendship.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Serrano Ortega, Juan Diego. 2019. "Prosociality across Socio-Economic Disparities: Trust, Cooperation and Generosity in Argentina." AEA RCT Registry. November 04. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.4971-1.0.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
The study will be divided into 3 parts. Part 1 consists of a survey. In the first part of this survey, participants will be asked baseline information (age, gender, income level proxies, opinion on generosity in their communities). In the second part of this survey, participants will be asked for information on their opinions on each of their classmates. Attached to the survey there is a small plan of the class with numbered seats. They will be asked questions about friendship, trust, and privilege of each one of the students seating in the class. Part 2 consists of 3 games. They are first told that no matter what they are receiving a participation fee and that depending on their decisions in the games, they can earn more money. The games are a dictator game, a trust game, and a choice between lotteries. During the games they will not be using real money, they will be given the money after the experiment at some point of the day. Part 3 consists of a very short survey. In it, participants will be asked about their thoughts and behavior during the games. Specifically about how they think they behaved with respect to the other participants. At the end of the study, each student will be given their payments in an envelope. Some students will be receiving a higher payment than they should. Attached to each envelope their will be an email address they should contact if there is an issue with the payments. We are doing so to measure whether they have the incentive to receive what they have not earned.
The treatment effect will consist of giving different participation fees to different participants within a class (either 25ARS or 75ARS). For the control group, everyone will receive the same amount (50ARS). The way they will notice this difference is when they read the Payment Method section before playing the games. They will be informed about what their payment is. At the same time, in the treatment case, we will have two situations. One in which they are informed of this inequality by telling them they receive 25ARS and others receive 75ARS or vice-versa. Another in which they are unaware of this difference in payments, they are just told they receive 25ARS or 75ARS without knowing what others receive. For the control, they will be told everyone receives 50ARS. A class will be randomly selected to have the treatment or not. Ideally in each school, we should have enough classrooms to apply the treatments and the control. From the entire sample, 50% of the classes will receive the equality treatment, the other 50% of the classes will receive the inequality treatment. From the Inequality treatment, 50% of the classes will know of this inequality and 50% of the classes will not know of it.
Intervention Start Date
2019-05-27
Intervention End Date
2019-08-16
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Amount of money shared by individuals in the Dictator and Trust Game
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
The study will be divided into 3 parts. Part 1 consists of a survey. In the first part of this survey, participants will be asked baseline information (age, gender, income level proxies, opinion on generosity in their communities). In the second part of this survey, participants will be asked for information on their opinions on each of their classmates. Attached to the survey there is a small plan of the class with numbered seats. They will be asked questions about friendship, trust, and privilege of each one of the students seating in the class. Part 2 consists of 3 games. They are first told that no matter what they are receiving a participation fee and that depending on their decisions in the games, they can earn more money. The games are a dictator game, a trust game, and a choice between lotteries. During the games they will not be using real money, they will be given the money after the experiment at some point of the day. Part 3 consists of a very short survey. In it, participants will be asked about their thoughts and behavior during the games. Specifically about how they think they behaved with respect to the other participants. At the end of the study, each student will be given their payments in an envelope. Some students will be receiving a higher payment than they should. Attached to each envelope their will be an email address they should contact if there is an issue with the payments. We are doing so to measure whether they have the incentive to receive what they have not earned.
The treatment effect will consist of giving different participation fees to different participants within a class (either 25ARS or 75ARS). For the control group, everyone will receive the same amount (50ARS). The way they will notice this difference is when they read the Payment Method section before playing the games. They will be informed about what their payment is. At the same time, in the treatment case, we will have two situations. One in which they are informed of this inequality by telling them they receive 25ARS and others receive 75ARS or vice-versa. Another in which they are unaware of this difference in payments, they are just told they receive 25ARS or 75ARS without knowing what others receive. For the control, they will be told everyone receives 50ARS. A class will be randomly selected to have the treatment or not. Ideally in each school, we should have enough classrooms to apply the treatments and the control. From the entire sample, 50% of the classes will receive the equality treatment, the other 50% of the classes will receive the inequality treatment. From the Inequality treatment, 50% of the classes will know of this inequality and 50% of the classes will not know of it.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Whether the class receives equality, known inequality, or unknown inequality will be randomly chosen by picking up a paper from a bag. This randomization will be at the classroom level. Surveys with high and low endowments in the treatments of inequality will be printed and randomly stacked in a folder. When students are given a survey, this survey is randomly picked from the folder. This randomization is at the individual level.
Randomization Unit
Equality, Known Inequality and Unknown inequality treatments are randomized at the classroom level. In the cases of inequality, whether a student receives a high or low endowment is randomized at the individual level.
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
This project is situated in Argentine schools, with Argentine students as the main sample. We captured schools in the private and public sectors in a variety of districts to ensure variation in the socioeconomic status of individuals. In total, 4 schools were open to collaborating with the study. One of the schools had a demographic with a notably high socio-economic status, another one with a significantly low socio-economic class and the other two schools portrayed a more varied socio-economic background within their students, ranging from upper-middle to middle-low social class. We run an in-class experiment in these four schools, capturing a sample size of 513 students, 244 men, and 269 women. The students interviewed are between 15 to 21 years old, coming from the last 3 years of secondary school. In total, 24 classrooms were surveyed.
Sample size: planned number of observations
We captured 513 students, in 24 classrooms from 4 schools.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
11 classrooms received an Equality treatment, 6 received a Known Inequality treatment and 7 received an Unknown Inequality treatment.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan
Analysis Plan Documents
Pre-Analysis Plan

MD5: 5b437857487368c54184335db0489c77

SHA1: 718bb3667e6d3b73e0688a7387b2042822569d96

Uploaded At: November 02, 2019

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 and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers