Young Adult Compliance with Covid19 Mitigation Policies in Bogotá, Colombia

Last registered on April 18, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

Young Adult Compliance with Covid19 Mitigation Policies in Bogotá, Colombia
Initial registration date
May 20, 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
May 21, 2020, 1:32 PM EDT

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

Last updated
April 18, 2023, 2:58 PM EDT

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



Primary Investigator

Inter-American Development Bank

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Inter-American Development Bank

Additional Trial Information

Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
The effectiveness of Covid19 mitigation measures such as handwashing and social distancing depends critically on compliance by young adults. The reason is that young adults are far less likely than older adults to suffer severe complications from infection but are far more likely to be infected, i.e., to be carriers. In Latin America, this incentive problem is magnified by the fact that young adults comprise a larger share of the population than in industrialized countries. This randomized controlled trial examines young adult compliance in Bogotá, Colombia. We test whether providing information on Covid19, and the framing of that information, affects young adults’ compliance with and attitudes towards mitigation recommendations and mandates. As for framing, we test the effects of messages that emphasize the public benefits of compliance (protect the community), the private benefits (protect yourself), and both types of benefits.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Blackman, Allen and Bridget Hoffmann. 2023. "Young Adult Compliance with Covid19 Mitigation Policies in Bogotá, Colombia." AEA RCT Registry. April 18.
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Compliance with Covid19 mitigation policies,
Attitudes towards Covid19 mitigation policies
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Our sample will be comprised of students at universities in Bogotá, Colombia. We will randomly assign students in our sample to one of four groups. Those in control group A will receive a placebo informational treatment. Those in treatment group B will receive information emphasizing the private benefits of compliance. Those in treatment group C will receive information emphasizing the public benefits. And those in treatment group D will receive information referencing both the private and public benefits. We will conduct a baseline survey and an endline survey in remote on-line data collection sessions. Informational treatments will be delivered during the baseline data collection sessions and via email following the data collection sessions. After these informational treatments have been received, we will administer an endline survey.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer.
Randomization Unit
Experimental session
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
40-80 experimental sessions, depending on session sizes, which in turn, depend on sign-up and show-up rates.
Sample size: planned number of observations
1600 university students
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Group A (control -- placebo treatment): approximately 300
Group B (treatment -- framing emphases private benefits): approximately 433
Group B (treatment -- framing emphases public benefits): approximately 433
Group C (treatment -- framing emphases private and public benefits): approximately 433
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Innovations for Poverty Action Institutional Review Board USA
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

There is information in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access.

Request Information


Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Collection Completion Date
June 18, 2020, 12:00 +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) like social distancing, face masks, and handwashing will continue to be a frontline defense against Covid-19 for some time. But their effectiveness depends critically on compliance by young adults, who are most likely both to become infected and to infect others. We conducted a randomized controlled trial in Bogota´ , Colombia, to assess the effectiveness of informational nudges emphasizing the private and public benefits of compliance on university students’ concern about Covid-19, recent compliance with NPI recommendations, and intended future compliance. Although nudges boosted concern, they had limited effects on either recent or intended future compliance. We attribute these null results to high baseline levels of information about and compliance with NPIs, an informational diminishing returns scenario that is likely to be increasingly common globally.
A. Blackman and B. Hoffmann. 2022. “Diminishing Returns: Nudging Covid-19 Prevention Among Colombian Young Adults.” PLOS ONE 17(12): e0279179.

Reports & Other Materials