Citizen Participation and Government Accountability: Experimental Evidence from Environmental Complaints in China

Last registered on October 05, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Citizen Participation and Government Accountability: Experimental Evidence from Environmental Complaints in China
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0005601
Initial registration date
March 26, 2020

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
March 27, 2020, 11:22 AM EDT

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

Last updated
October 05, 2020, 10:33 PM EDT

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

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
University of Chicago

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Nanjing University
PI Affiliation
University of International Business and Economics
PI Affiliation
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
PI Affiliation
University of Chicago
PI Affiliation
University of California, Santa Barbara

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2020-04-13
End date
2021-05-01
Secondary IDs
Abstract
We will investigate how the types of complaints by citizens and non-governmental groups about firms that violate pollution standards change violation behavior by firms.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Buntaine, Mark et al. 2020. "Citizen Participation and Government Accountability: Experimental Evidence from Environmental Complaints in China." AEA RCT Registry. October 05. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.5601
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
We will study the effect of non-governmental complaints on the violation behavior of key firms in China using a multi-arm randomized controlled trial. Firms will be assigned to complaint, information, or control conditions, which will last for a six-month experimental period. Additional, the density of assignment to complaint and information conditions within city-level clusters will be randomly assigned, enabling us to investigate spillover effects of a more or less active non-government sector in making complaints at the city level. Finally, the intensity of complaints or informational notices will be assigned at the firm level, which will allow us to investigate how firms respond to more or less stringent scrutiny of their emissions violations.
Intervention Start Date
2020-04-13
Intervention End Date
2021-05-01

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Firms' violations of pollution standards, pollution punishments, government responses to appeals, firms' production activities and outputs
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We will study the effect of non-governmental complaints on the violation behavior of key firms in China using a multi-arm randomized controlled trial. Firms will be assigned to complaint, information, or control conditions, which will last for a six-month experimental period. Additional, the density of assignment to complaint and information conditions within city-level clusters will be randomly assigned, enabling us to investigate spillover effects of a more or less active non-government sector in making complaints at the city level. Finally, the intensity of complaints or informational notices will be assigned at the firm level, which will allow us to investigate how firms respond to more or less stringent scrutiny of their emissions violations.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done by a computer
Randomization Unit
Double randomization: Firm-level and city-level
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
More than 25000 firms
Sample size: planned number of observations
More than 25000 firms
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
More than 25000 firms divided into 7 different arms.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
UChicago AURA IRB
IRB Approval Date
2019-11-04
IRB Approval Number
N/A Notification of Non Human Subjects Research Determination

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
No
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?
No

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials