Discrimination in times of Crisis
Last registered on July 23, 2020


Trial Information
General Information
Discrimination in times of Crisis
Initial registration date
July 22, 2020
Last updated
July 23, 2020 9:48 AM EDT
Primary Investigator
USC Marshall School of Business
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Inter-American Development Bank
Additional Trial Information
In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs

The aim of this study is to understand if crisis trigger discriminatory reactions towards migrants or individuals that form parts of an out-group. For this purpose, we will carry out a survey experiment in Colombia, a country with a recent large inflow of forced migrants from Venezuela. All respondents will be asked a set of questions to elicit prejudice towards immigrants and a set of questions about COVID-19. The order of the two sets of questions will be randomized such that half of respondents gets the COVID-19 module first and is therefore “primed” to think about the pandemic before answering the immigration module (treatment group). The rest of participants will answer the COVID-19 module last (control group). The survey experiment will be conducted online to a representative sample of the Colombian population.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Rodriguez Chatruc, Marisol and Sandra V. Rozo . 2020. "Discrimination in times of Crisis." AEA RCT Registry. July 23. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.6182-1.0.
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Experimental Details
Research questions:
1. Are prosocial behaviors in general and towards migrants disproportionally affected in crisis times? The prosocial behaviors that we will study include solidarity, fairness, and altruism.
2. Are prejudices towards migrants disproportionally affected by crisis times?
3. Are there heterogeneous effects of crisis times on prejudices and prosocial behaviors of individuals by age? Specifically, we will be concentrated in the “impressionable years” 18 to 25.

To answer them, we will carry out a survey experiment in Bogotá, Colombia with 4100 respondents. All respondents will be asked a set of questions to elicit prejudice towards immigrants and a set of questions about COVID-19, but the order in which the two sets of questions are presented to each subject will be randomized.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
• Attitudes towards immigrants.
• Prosocial behaviors.
• Preferences regarding migration policies.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
• Attitudes against immigrants: The survey includes questions about solidarity, fairness, discrimination, altruism in general and also related to immigrants. Also, includes questions about misinformation regarding the immigrants´ characteristics (like the number of immigrants in the region and their level of education).

• Policy preferences: The survey includes questions about redistributive policy preferences, and social policy preferences that assist natives and immigrants in Colombia.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
All 4100 participants will be randomly assign to one of two groups:

Group 1: Gets the COVID-19 module first and is therefore “primed” to think about COVID-19 before answering the immigration module. Group 2 (control): Gets COVID-19 module later.

The survey experiment collected will be representative at age group level (age groups are: 8-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54, 55-64, 65 or more) and at the gender level. Since the survey will be carried online, the program will randomly assign each subject to one of the two groups described above.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Each participant will be randomly assigned to any of the two groups by the computer/tablet at the moment of enrollment.
Randomization Unit
Randomization will be done at the individual level.
Was the treatment clustered?
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
4100 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
2050 individuals in each group
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
No previous evidence available.
IRB Name
University of Southern California
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Is the intervention completed?
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
Program Files
Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials
Relevant Paper(s)