Pandemic response and the drivers of populism

Last registered on July 23, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Pandemic response and the drivers of populism
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0006178
Initial registration date
July 23, 2020
Last updated
July 23, 2020, 9:42 AM EDT

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Università Cattolica
PI Affiliation
University of Bologna
PI Affiliation
University of Bologna
PI Affiliation
Harvard Business School

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2020-07-13
End date
2020-07-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
We investigate the effects of the Covid-19 pandemics on several topics related to the spread of populism attitudes over the Italian public opinion. Among these, trust in the institutions, the relationship with the European Union and solidarity among European states, opinions on science and the role of experts, physicians, scientists, the importance of democracy. The research is based on an experimental design, which involves an online survey to be conducted on 4 groups of respondents – which will be exposed to different stimulus related to the initiatives adopted by European institutions and political leaders and the reactions of politicians and scientists to the spread of the pandemics – and a control group that will be not exposed to such stimulus.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Bordignon, Massimo et al. 2020. "Pandemic response and the drivers of populism." AEA RCT Registry. July 23. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.6178-1.0
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
In this project, we aim at investigating the different drivers of populism by running a survey experiment that randomly elicits respondents’ perceptions regarding Europe’s unity and the inconsistent behavior of populist political leaders compared to that of technocrats in the context of the coronavirus pandemic that hit Italy.
Intervention Start Date
2020-07-13
Intervention End Date
2020-07-31

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Respondents will be asked questions regarding 5 broad topics: (a) trust in institutions, (b) attitudes towards the European Union, (c) attitudes towards democracy and political representation, (d) trust in science, (e) political preferences.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
In this project, we aim at investigating the different drivers of populism by running a survey experiment that randomly elicits respondents’ perceptions regarding Europe’s unity and the inconsistent behavior of populist political leaders compared to that of technocrats in the context of the coronavirus pandemic that hit Italy. Survey respondents have been randomly allocated to one of four treatment groups or to a control group. The survey consists of 5,000 interviews, equally distributed among the 5 groups (4 treatment groups and 1 control group), each of which will be representative of the Italian adult (18+) population according to gender, age group, and area of residence. After collection, data will be weighted to ensure representativeness also on education level, employment condition, and party voted at the last elections.
Experimental Design Details
We randomly allocate survey respondents to one of four treatment groups or to a control group:
(i) Europe solidarity: a first group of respondents will receive information on the effort exerted by European countries and institutions in rescuing Italy during the pandemic.
(ii) European division: a second group will receive information on several issues that divided European countries regarding the management of the crisis
(iii) Politicians’ inconsistency: a third group will receive information about conflicting messages by political leaders on the coronavirus pandemic
(iv) Experts’ inconsistency: a final group will receive information about conflicting messages by experts on the coronavirus pandemic
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
5,000
Sample size: planned number of observations
5,000 survey respondents
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
We randomize individuals into 5 groups ( 4 treatments +1 control), there should be about 1,000 individuals in each group.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
COVID, social distancing, and moral values
IRB Approval Date
2020-05-21
IRB Approval Number
IRB20-0764

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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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