Trust and associated expectations: An interregional study in Russia

Last registered on December 20, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Trust and associated expectations: An interregional study in Russia
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0005513
Initial registration date
March 01, 2020
Last updated
December 20, 2021, 8:45 AM EST

Locations

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Technical University of Munich

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
HSE, Higher School of Economics Moskow
PI Affiliation
HSE, Higher School of Economics Moskow
PI Affiliation
Bonn University; HSE, Higher School of Economics Moskow

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2020-03-04
End date
2021-12-31
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
The aim of the project is to measure interregional trust, its determinants and associated expectations in Russia for the first time. We will apply an incentivized online experiment where the participants interact in real time across regions. They will make decisions simultaneously in the trust game (Berg et al., 1995). In this game, participants are paired. The first member of the pair (the trustor) decides whether or not to transfer a certain amount of money to the second member (the trustee). Before handed over to the trustee, the transferred amount is tripled. The matched trustee has then the opportunity to return any of the received amount to the trustor. Trust by the trustor and trustworthiness of the trustee, allow both members of a pair to get high earnings, while the lack of trust and trustworthiness (equilibrium behavior) deprives them of such an opportunity. The study will involve university students from (tentatively) twelve distinct Russian regions. The participants will be matched either with participants from their own city/region or with participants from one of the other eleven cities/regions. Immediately after the main experiment, all participants will be asked to state their expectations regarding the matched trustor’s or trustee’s behavior. Finally, survey questions will be asked related to participants’ socio-demographic characteristics, trust attitudes, knowledge about the other cities/regions involved in the study, personality, and economic preferences.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Belianin, Alexis et al. 2021. "Trust and associated expectations: An interregional study in Russia." AEA RCT Registry. December 20. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.5513-1.1
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
The participants (trustors and trustees) will interact either with participants from their own city/region or with participants from one of the other eleven cities/regions. They take twelve trust or trustworthiness decisions (depending on their role). We will include participants from the following cities: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Vladivostok, Kazan, Perm, Khabarovsk, Makhachkala, Novosibirsk, Voronezh, Arkhangelsk, Ekaterinburg, Rostov-on-Don.
Intervention Start Date
2020-03-04
Intervention End Date
2020-12-31

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
1. Trustors' trust and associated beliefs: represented by the decision "to trust" or "not to trust" a participant (trustee) from a distinct city/region; represented by the expected degree of positive "returns".
2. Trustees' Trustworthiness and associated beliefs: represented by the degree of positive "returns" to a participant (trustor) from a distinct city/region; represented by the expected decision "to trust" or "not to trust".
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
We will also obtain an interregional overview on participants’ socio-demographic characteristics, trust attitudes, knowledge about the other cities/regions involved in the study, perceived income disparity between regions, personality, and economic preferences.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Participants will make simultaneous decisions, using the strategy method (Selten, 1967), in the trust game. In the game, participants are paired. The first member of a pair (the trustor) decides whether or not to transfer 10 Tokens to the second member (the trustee). Before handed over to the trustee, the transferred amount is tripled. The matched trustee has then the opportunity to return any of the received amount (0 - 30; in steps of three Tokens) to the trustor. The study will involve university students from (tentatively) twelve distinct Russian regions. For payoff determination, the participants will be matched either with another participant from their own city/region or with a participant from one of the other eleven cities/regions. Because we will apply the strategy method, each participant (trustor or trustee) takes a decision for a participant in the opposite role from each of the involved twelve cities/regions (i.e., twelve decisions). After the main experimental task, we will ask the trustors about their expectations regarding the return behavior of trustees in all twelve cities/regions. Similarly, we will ask the trustees about their expectations regarding the transfer behavior of trusters in all twelve cities/regions. The elicitation of expectations is incentivized.
Experimental Design Details
Participants will make simultaneous decisions, using the strategy method (Selten, 1967), in the trust game. In the game, participants are paired. The first member of a pair (the trustor) decides whether or not to transfer 10 Tokens to the second member (the trustee). Before handed over to the trustee, the transferred amount is tripled. The matched trustee has then the opportunity to return any of the received amount (0 - 30; in steps of three Tokens) to the trustor. The study will involve university students from (tentatively) twelve distinct Russian regions. For payoff determination, the participants will be matched either with another participant from their own city/region or with a participant from one of the other eleven cities/regions. Because we will apply the strategy method, each participant (trustor or trustee) takes a decision for a participant in the opposite role from each of the involved twelve cities/regions (i.e., twelve decisions). After the main experimental task, we will ask the trustors about their expectations regarding the return behavior of trustees in all twelve cities/regions. Similarly, we will ask the trustees about their expectations regarding the transfer behavior of trusters in all twelve cities/regions. The elicitation of expectations is incentivized.
Randomization Method
1) Matching of cities/regions will be ex ante determined randomly by the experimenters in office by a computer.
2) Player roles are randomly determined by the experimental software in the experimental sessions (otree).
3) Players from the matched cities/regions (see 1) are randomly matched in pairs by the experimental software in the experimental sessions (otree).
Randomization Unit
For each city/region, we will randomly and ex ante determine one "matching city/region" (pull without put back). We will run 8 to 10 experimental sessions, with 20 to 30 participants, per city/region. All trustors or trustees from one city/region will interact either with a trustor/trustee from their own city/region or with a trustor/trustee from the randomly determined other city/region. Role determination and matching with particpants in the opposite role is also executed randomly (see "randomization method"). Our procedure allows to carry out the study in clusters of two cities/regions where participants interact in real time. Due to natural (e.g., different time zones) and organizational constraints (availability of local experimenters and facilities), it is not possible to conduct the study in all twelve cities/regions simultaneously. When the participants take their decision, using the strategy method, they are not informed about the city/region of the matched player.
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
We will include participants from 12 universites, located in 12 different cities from 12 different Russian regions. We will include participants from the following cities: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Vladivostok, Kazan, Perm, Khabarovsk, Makhachkala, Novosibirsk, Voronezh, Arkhangelsk, Ekaterinburg, Rostov-on-Don. We will run 8 to 10 experimental sessions, with 20 to 30 participants, per city/region.
Sample size: planned number of observations
We will collect about 200 observations - from 100 trustors and 100 trustees - per university. The total number of observations will be about 2.400 (1.200 trustor decisions, 1.200 trustee decisions).
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
A "treatment" is the interaction of a city/region x all twelve cities/regions involved in the study.
This makes 12 x 12 decision constellations =144 "treatments".
We will collect about 200 observations - 100 trustors, 100 trustees - per "treatment".
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
It seems very difficult to derive the detectable effect size, because our design includes 144 decision constellations, applied in a country were previous experimental results are very rare and non-existant for an experiment comparable to ours. When we determined the sample size per city/region and role (100 observations per role, 200 observations per city/region), we followed the conventions of comparable studies (see for example Herrmann, B., Thöni, C., & Gächter, S. (2008). Antisocial punishment across societies. Science, 319(5868), 1362-1367). Moreover, in a comparable interregional study in China, Chmura at al. (2016), e.g., had only less than half of the observations (956 in total) we will have (Chmura, T., Goerg, S. J., & Weiss, P. (2016). Natural groups and economic characteristics as driving forces of wage discrimination. European Economic Review, 90, 178-200).
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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
No
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

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Is public data available?
No

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