Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Explanation for secondary outcomes 1: We will compare the average happiness (main outcome 1) between countries with female presidents in which presidents gender was visible (treatment 1) and countries with female presidents in which presidents gender was not visible (treatment 2). The difference between these two treatments allows us to explore to what extent a country’s performance depends on the students knowing that the president is female. We’ll do the same for male presidents (comparing treatments 3 and 4) and for the Gini coefficient of happiness (main outcome 2) for presidents of both genders.
Explanation for secondary outcomes 2-3: Before starting the simulations, all students are asked to fill in a questionnaire. In this questionnaire, students can state how much they agree with 5 statements that measure attitudes towards redistribution. Students possible answers range from 1 “strongly disagree” to 5 “strongly agree”. These are the 5 statements:
1. It is the responsibility of the government to reduce the differences in income between people with high incomes and those with low incomes.
2. The government should take more responsibility to ensure that everyone is provided for.
3. The government should do everything to improve the standard of living of all poor citizens.
4. The government should do only those things necessary to provide the most basic government functions.
5. The government should take active steps in every area it can to try and improve the lives of its citizens.
To get our measure of attitudes towards redistribution, we will reverse the score for question 4 so that higher values indicate more support for redistribution. Our final measure of preferences of redistribution will then be the average of all 5 scores.
Explanation for secondary outcomes 4-6: From the simulation, we can generate several measures that describe the economic activities of each economy. For example, we can measure GDP per capita, tax rates, investments in public goods and inflation. We will explore gender differences in these measures without having any specific hypothesis a priori how these might be affected by having a female president.
Explanation for secondary outcomes 7: The measure of course satisfaction and satisfaction with the president are taken from a survey that students fill out towards the end of the course.
Explanation for secondary outcomes 8: We will play the ultimatum game, trust game, and dictator game with all students in the course. Some of these games will be played using monetary incentives. The other games will be played using simulation money as incentives. We will compare the behaviour in these economic mini-games between students who are in simulations with female presidents compared to male presidents. We have no a priori hypothesis how having a female president will affect these outcomes.