ABS Census Test

Last registered on July 26, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
ABS Census Test
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0004984
Initial registration date
November 04, 2019

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
November 05, 2019, 9:38 AM EST

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Last updated
July 26, 2020, 9:56 PM EDT

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Behavioural Economics Team of the Australian Government

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
BETA
PI Affiliation
BETA
PI Affiliation
BETA

Additional Trial Information

Status
Completed
Start date
2019-10-11
End date
2020-06-30
Secondary IDs
Abstract
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is responsible for the delivery of the Census of Population and Housing (the Census) every five years. Historically, a single ‘night of enumeration’ has been highlighted as the point in time to complete the Census. However, the ABS has always permitted early and late completion of the Census. To provide responders with greater flexibility and encourage greater participation, ABS/BETA conducted a test to advise responders they have a number of days to complete the Census, giving them a ‘response window’. We will deliver a two-arm cluster randomised trial to evaluate differences in the framing of a ‘response window’.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Greenwell, Harry et al. 2020. "ABS Census Test." AEA RCT Registry. July 26. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.4984
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
We tested two approaches to framing the response window.
Intervention Start Date
2019-10-11
Intervention End Date
2019-10-17

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Proportion of households that commenced the survey prior to October 18 (i.e. up to and including October 17).
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Proportion of households that completed the survey prior to October 18 (i.e. up to and including October 17).
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
This was a cluster randomised trial. Clusters are small statistical areas called mesh blocks that consist of approximately 30 dwellings.
Participants were in the Australian selected statistical areas in New South Wales and Queensland. Participants were aware that they were invited into the Census test, but they were not be aware that they were part of a trial.
The intervention consisted of two versions of the invitation letter delivered by post.
Experimental Design Details
This was a cluster randomised trial. Clusters are small statistical areas called mesh blocks that consist of approximately 30 dwellings.
Participants were in the Australian statistical areas of Wagga Wagga (new South Wales) and Logan (Queensland). Participants were aware that they are invited into the Census test, but they were not be aware that they were part of a trial.
The intervention consisted of two versions of the invitation letter delivered by post.
Randomization Method
Mesh blocks were stratified by: the difficulty of enumeration in the 2016 census, number of dwellings, enumeration mode in 2016 census (drop-off or mail-out), and mesh block category (residential, primary production etc). Mesh blocks were selected from strata in groups of four and randomly allocated by computer algorithm to condition in a one-to-one ratio.
Randomization Unit
The cluster was a small statistical unit called a mesh block.
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
892
Sample size: planned number of observations
approx 28,544
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
446 clusters per arm
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
With an estimated ICC of 0.01, the effective sample size was 20,789 giving a minimum detectable effect of h = 0.04.
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
BETA Committee of Peers
IRB Approval Date
2019-09-17
IRB Approval Number
BETA ETH2019-02
Analysis Plan

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Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
Yes
Intervention Completion Date
October 17, 2019, 12:00 +00:00
Data Collection Complete
Yes
Data Collection Completion Date
November 14, 2019, 12:00 +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
892
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
No
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
26,329
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
'defined' condition: 13,187 'vague' condition: 13,142
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?
No

Program Files

Program Files
No
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials