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Trust in the State and Citizen Cooperation: Evidence from Pakistan
Last registered on July 04, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Trust in the State and Citizen Cooperation: Evidence from Pakistan
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0005744
Initial registration date
May 19, 2020
Last updated
July 04, 2020 11:29 AM EDT
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
briq Institute, Warwick
PI Affiliation
Lahore University of Management Sciences
PI Affiliation
LSE
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2020-04-27
End date
2020-07-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Citizens’ willingness to cooperate with the state is a fundamental determinant of state capacity. This willingness to cooperate is particularly important in the context of pandemics: reducing the spread of a virus requires citizens to follow state directives and engage in behavioral change (e.g. social distancing, reporting symptoms, etc.). In many developing countries, however, states have limited capacity to even temporarily change the behavior of citizens. In this project, we investigate whether sharing information designed to increase trust in the state can improve citizen compliance with state directives on minimizing the spread of COVID-19. We test this in major urban centers in Punjab, Pakistan through three information treatments that emphasize one of the following: past state effectiveness in addressing a public health emergency, the importance of citizen cooperation in addressing a past public health emergency, and religious authorities' support for state directives. We will track citizen intentions, beliefs, perceived norms, and self-reported behaviors over time to understand how citizen trust in government and state institutions can foster cooperation with the state.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Khan, Adnan et al. 2020. "Trust in the State and Citizen Cooperation: Evidence from Pakistan." AEA RCT Registry. July 04. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.5744-1.2000000000000002.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2020-04-27
Intervention End Date
2020-07-31
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Citizen attitudes towards government and state institutions (trust, perceived capacity, benevolence, etc.); self-reported behavior and intended behavior, perceived norms.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
The study is a randomized controlled trial implemented in Punjab, Pakistan. The key hypothesis is that citizen compliance with state directives on reducing the spread of COVID-19 will depend on whether citizens trust the state, and believe it to be acting in their own interests. Where trust and perceived benevolence are high, citizens will be more likely to follow the state’s recommendations, thereby raising state capacity to address the crisis.

This evaluation tests this hypothesis by sharing information designed to increase citizen trust, perceived state benevolence, and citizen compliance with the state’s directives. All citizens in the study sample will receive basic information on the state's directives on reducing the spread of coronavirus. Citizens assigned to treatment groups will receive an additional message encouraging compliance with the state’s directives.

1. Basic information (control): Citizens will receive (i) basic information about the coronavirus; and (ii) the Punjab provincial government’s recommended response (e.g. handwashing, social distancing, etc.).

2. ... plus appeal to past state effectiveness: Citizens may be more willing to cooperate with the state after receiving positive information about the state’s ability to address crises in the past. In this treatment arm, citizens will receive a reminder of the Punjab provincial government’s success in addressing dengue outbreaks.

3. ... plus appeal to citizen cooperation in achieving past state effectiveness: Citizens may be more willing to cooperate with the state after receiving information about the role of citizens in enabling state successes in the past. Similar to the treatment above, citizens in this treatment arm will receive a reminder of the Punjab provincial government’s success in addressing dengue outbreaks - but with an emphasis on how citizen cooperation contributed to this success.

4. ... plus appeal to religious authority: Citizens may be more willing to respond to non-state actors such as religious authorities, rather than the government – especially when they perceive the state is encroaching on their religious rights. In this treatment arm, citizens will receive information on religious authorities support for the provincial government’s directives.

5. ... plus experimenter demand: To measure and net out experimenter demand effects, citizens in this treatment arm will receive basic information, along with a clearly stated opinion in favor of the provincial government and its recommendations.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
5000 individuals
Sample size: planned number of observations
5000 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
1000 individuals control; 1000 individuals past state effectiveness; 1000 individuals past state effectiveness + citizen cooperation, 1000 individuals religious authority; 1000 individuals experimenter demand.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
MIT
IRB Approval Date
2020-04-21
IRB Approval Number
1612793533
IRB Name
Lahore University of Management Sciences
IRB Approval Date
2020-04-20
IRB Approval Number
004202020SN
Analysis Plan

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Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is 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