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Different although Equal: An Experimental Investigation of Inter- and Intragenerational Differences in Corrupt Behavior facing Germany's East-West Stigma
Initial registration date
February 10, 2020
February 11, 2020 7:15 AM EST
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Allensbach Institute consulted adolescents between 15 and 24 years in Germany to understand their educational situation, their evaluation of future perspectives, and their attitude towards current social and economic challenges. This survey reports crucial differences between young people in East and West Germany. This result is remarkable considering that this generation grew up in a unified Germany. Nevertheless, the youth seems to be strongly shaped by economic, cultural and social differences that were once established in the divided Germany. These differences may stem from acquired preferences concerning solidarity, state intervention and the distribution of income.
Our goal is to understand if differences revealed in cooperation and solidarity, as well as pro-state attitudes and governmental control are still prevalent among young Germans, who are not directly influenced by two different regimes. Additionally, we want to compare these results with those of older generations, who actually lived under different regimes in one state. We aim to contribute to the literature by playing the public good as well as the bribery game in an experimental setting with groups of different age in East and West Germany. Registration Citation
Auer, Thorsten, Timo Berg and Christin Hoffmann. 2020. "Different although Equal: An Experimental Investigation of Inter- and Intragenerational Differences in Corrupt Behavior facing Germany's East-West Stigma." AEA RCT Registry. February 11.
We play a public good game as well as a bribery game with different groups concerning age and origin in Germany. We implement both games in a lab-in-the-field design avoiding a strictly laboratory setting and this way being able to include different groups in their natural environment.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Bribery Game: Decisions to make a transfer by one player and decisions to accept transfers for bribery and implement a strategy harming the general public in the game by th eother player over all rounds.
Public Good: Contributions to the public asset by each player in the group over all rounds.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
We intend to contribute to this literature by running a lab-in-the-field experiment. As we do not want to rely on students as participants only, we use ClassEx in order to run the experiments using mobile devices (Giamattei & Lambsdorff, 2019). This enables us to collect data for different age groups in East and West Germany.
The bribery game and the public good game will be played independently. Regarding the bribery game, pairs will be built and make concecutive decisions depending on the action of the other player. Decisions will not only have an impact on the outcome of the partner but also all other players involved in the game simultaneously.
In the public good game groups of five are formed and they will male simultaneous decisions on how much of their endownment they transfer to their private account and the public asset going along with different outcomes for the individual respectively the group.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization done by the experimental program's algorithm
Overall stratified randomization by age and region.
In the game randomization on the individual level.
Was the treatment clustered?
Sample size: planned number of clusters
2 * 210 (for the Eastern and Western federal state)
Sample size: planned number of observations
140 students/pupils, 140 adults, 140 seniors
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
70 students/pupils East Germany, 70 students/pupils West Germany, 70 adults East Germany, 70 adults West Germany, 70 seniors East Germany, 70 seniors West Germany
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)