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Are risk perceptions and policy preferences responsive to information? Evidence from the covid-19 crisis in South Africa and Brazil
Last registered on July 02, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Are risk perceptions and policy preferences responsive to information? Evidence from the covid-19 crisis in South Africa and Brazil
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0005938
Initial registration date
May 29, 2020
Last updated
July 02, 2020 3:04 PM EDT
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
LSE
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
LSE
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2020-06-01
End date
2021-06-30
Secondary IDs
Abstract
The growing COVID-19 crisis has created an unprecedented health, as well as economic crisis. Many governments in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) have advocated the public health strategies adopted elsewhere, and introduced various levels of “lockdown” to reduce the number of new infections. While these measures can reduce transmissions and “flatten the curve” of new cases to protect fragile health systems, they can come at a great economic cost. Voices have emerged against these strategies in many settings, claiming that the economic price to pay is too high, and that these measures hurt more than they help. Using a survey experiment where respondents are randomized to receiving different messages, we test the impact of different messages on people’s perceptions of the health and economic risks they face, how they perceive the health vs. economic trade-offs involved by some social distancing measures, and their support for alternative policies.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Lagarde, Mylene and Nicholas Stacey. 2020. "Are risk perceptions and policy preferences responsive to information? Evidence from the covid-19 crisis in South Africa and Brazil." AEA RCT Registry. July 02. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.5938-1.1.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
This intervention seeks to assess how the framing of messaging related to COVID-19 policy responses influences individuals' perceptions of the health risks of the pandemic and the economic impact of non-pharmaceutical lockdown policies. Through a survey experiment, individuals are randomly assigned to receiving alternative messages.
Intervention Start Date
2020-06-03
Intervention End Date
2020-12-31
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Three families of outcomes: (1) perceived health risks ; (2) perceived economic risks and (3) policy preferences
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Each family of outcomes will be constructed based on several questions asked
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Individuals will be randomised to one of three groups:
- 'public health' group: respondents see a short video emphasizing the standard 'public health' message explaining the benefits of social distancing measures to limit the spread of the virus.
- 'trade-off' group: respondents see a short video emphasizing the standard 'public health' message explaining the benefits of social distancing measures, but recognizing its potential economic costs.
- control group: no information

Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Respondents will be randomly assigned to treatments via random-number generation during the survey.
Randomization Unit
Individuals
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
na
Sample size: planned number of observations
2500 individuals in each country.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
equal allocation to each group (about 830 in each group)
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
London School of Economics
IRB Approval Date
2020-05-22
IRB Approval Number
1146
Analysis Plan

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