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Inter-regional trust and expectations: An large online experiment in Russia
Last registered on June 23, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Inter-regional trust and expectations: An large online experiment in Russia
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0006029
Initial registration date
June 23, 2020
Last updated
June 23, 2020 11:09 AM EDT
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Technical University of Munich
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Bonn University; HSE, Higher School of Economics Moskow
PI Affiliation
HSE, Higher School of Economics Moskow
PI Affiliation
HSE, Higher School of Economics Moskow
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2020-07-01
End date
2020-12-31
Secondary IDs
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 from the different regions interact. They will make decisions
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 of the pair (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 higher earnings (cooperation), while the lack of trust and
trustworthiness (equilibrium behavior) deprives them of such an opportunity. The study
will involve participants from twelve distinct Russian regions. These participants will be recruited
via the online platform "Toloka" (https://toloka.yandex.com/; a provider comparable to MTurk).
The participants will be matched randomly 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. 2020. "Inter-regional trust and expectations: An large online experiment in Russia." AEA RCT Registry. June 23. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.6029-1.0.
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). One decision will
be chosen randomly for payoff determination. We will include participants from the following cities/regions: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Vladivostok, Kazan, Perm, Khabarovsk, Makhachkala, Novosibirsk, Voronezh, Arkhangelsk, Ekaterinburg, Rostovon-Don.
Intervention Start Date
2020-07-01
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 another 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 another 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 (within one day) 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 participants from twelve distinct Russian cities/regions. These participants will be recruited via the online platform "Toloka" (https://toloka.yandex.com/; a provider comparable to MTurk). For payoff determination, the participants will be matched randomly 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
Not available
Randomization Method
1) Player roles are randomly assigned by the experimental software when participants start with the online experiment (software which conducts the random assignment of roles: oTree).

2) Random matching of participants (creating pairs of trustors and trustees) across cities/regions for payoff determination will be excecuted after all participants from all cities/regions have taken their decisions (software which conducts the random matching: oTree).
Randomization Unit
1) Player roles are randomly assigned by the experimental software when participants start with the online experiment (software which conducts the random assignment of roles: oTree).

2) Random matching of participants (creating pairs of trustors and trustees) across cities/regions for payoff determination will be excecuted after all participants from all cities/regions have taken their decisions (software which conducts the random matching: oTree).
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
We will include participants from twelve different cities/regions in Russia. We will include participants from the following cities/regions: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Vladivostok, Kazan, Perm, Khabarovsk, Makhachkala, Novosibirsk, Voronezh, Arkhangelsk, Ekaterinburg, Rostov-on-Don. Each participant (trustor and trustee) takes a decision for a counterpart from each of the twelve cities/regions involved.
Sample size: planned number of observations
We will collect about 200 observations - from 100 trustors and 100 trustees - per city/region. 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" for each player role.
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). The aspired number of observations also exceeds the typical convention of observations per treatment in the experimental economics society.
Supporting Documents and Materials

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IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Experimental Economics Society, Germany
IRB Approval Date
2020-06-23
IRB Approval Number
No. 4wAmRFb8