Moral Wiggle Room in Public Good Contributions

Last registered on January 18, 2022

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Moral Wiggle Room in Public Good Contributions
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0006128
Initial registration date
September 15, 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
September 17, 2020, 8:09 AM EDT

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

Last updated
January 18, 2022, 7:34 AM EST

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

Locations

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Heidelberg University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Birmingham

Additional Trial Information

Status
Completed
Start date
2020-09-18
End date
2020-10-01
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
For the provision of healthcare, education, or road maintenance, society relies on the taxes paid by its members. Such services provided by governments are characterised by their non-excludability: once they are in place, all individuals, irrespective of whether they contributed towards it or not, will be able to use them. This leaves room for opportunistic behaviour that is widely studied in public good game studies and ways in which the free-rider problem can be overcome. What happens when citizens believe the government or administration responsible for collecting taxes is corrupt and may embezzle these funds? This would naturally reduce the provision of such services, as lower funds will be available from the governing body. Do taxpayers use this possibility as an ‘excuse’ to reduce even further their contributions towards public goods? We design an experiment to study the extent to which such moral wiggle room may re-inforce the inefficiencies of corruption. By contrasting public good games with or without embezzlement of contributions, we aim to identify whether individuals hide behind ignorance about the efficacy of the public good when choosing to contribute towards it. The experiment comprises of four treatments:

1. Baseline treatment of relatively higher certain returns from public good
2. Baseline treatment of relatively lower certain returns from public good
3. Uncertain returns treatment
4. Embezzlement of contributions treatment.

The design involves a monetary incentivised one-shot public good interaction, a monetary incentivised price list risk attitude elicitation and the social value orientation questionnaire and a brief demographics questionnaire.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Arroyos-Calvera , Danae and Andis Sofianos. 2022. "Moral Wiggle Room in Public Good Contributions." AEA RCT Registry. January 18. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.6128
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2020-09-18
Intervention End Date
2020-10-01

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Contributions in public good game
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Risk attitudes
Social value orientation (SVO)
Political Orientation
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We design an experiment to study the presence of moral wiggle room in deciding to contribute towards a public good. The experiment comprises of four treatments:

1. Baseline treatment of relatively higher certain returns from public good
2. Baseline treatment of relatively lower certain returns from public good
3. Uncertain returns treatment
4. Embezzlement of contributions treatment.



Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Done by computer
Randomization Unit
Experimental sessions
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
480 online participants
Sample size: planned number of observations
480 online participants
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
120 online participants per treatment
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Supporting Documents and Materials

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

Request Information
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
German Association for Experimental Economic Research e.V.
IRB Approval Date
2020-07-02
IRB Approval Number
DVtrkfik
IRB Name
University of Birmingham Ethics Board
IRB Approval Date
2020-07-13
IRB Approval Number
ERN 20-1020

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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

Request Information

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

Description
Update about this project
Citation
Arroyos-Calvera , Danae, Andis Sofianos and Andis Sofianos. 2022. "Moral Wiggle Room in Public Good Contributions." AEA RCT Registry. January 18. 2022. "Registration Entry Title: Update about this project." AEA RCT Registry. January 18 https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.6128
File
Update+on+preregistration.pdf

MD5: 4dde1ceead4c3743935ed4325c3ae014

SHA1: 7ea0dc61f959bf8957399324d6733546f343ee92

Uploaded At: January 18, 2022

Description
Updated Instructions
Citation
Arroyos-Calvera , Danae et al. 2022. "Moral Wiggle Room in Public Good Contributions." AEA RCT Registry. January 18. 2022. "Registration Entry Title: Updated Instructions." AEA RCT Registry. January 18 https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.6128
File
Instructions_wave2.pdf

MD5: fb8cebaf690635ceb699543333223282

SHA1: 645d8195e50d1cf2c3dc8e06cb24aef426fa5973

Uploaded At: January 18, 2022