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Risk Exposure and Attention to the Macroeconomy
Last registered on August 03, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Risk Exposure and Attention to the Macroeconomy
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0006253
Initial registration date
July 31, 2020
Last updated
August 03, 2020 12:33 PM EDT
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of Warwick
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
PI Affiliation
Additional Trial Information
Status
Completed
Start date
2019-08-13
End date
2019-08-20
Secondary IDs
Abstract
A basic premise of models of rational inattention is that people’s demand for information depends on the expected benefits of getting informed. We test this premise using an experiment with a sample of the US population. In the experiment We examine how people’s beliefs about their personal exposure to macroeconomic risk during recessions causally affect their demand for macroeconomic forecasts about the likelihood of a recession. Households who learn that they are more strongly exposed to unemployment risk during recessions increase their demand for macroeconomic forecasts about the likelihood of a recession, consistent with the predictions of rational inattention models.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Roth, Christopher, Sonja Settele and Johannes Wohlfart. 2020. "Risk Exposure and Attention to the Macroeconomy." AEA RCT Registry. August 03. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.6253-1.0.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2019-08-13
Intervention End Date
2019-08-20
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Demand for forecast about the likelihood of a recession.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
The experiment proceeds as follows: First, we measure people's beliefs about the effect of the Great Recession in 2009 on the unemployment rate among people who have similar characteristics to them. We then generate exogenous variation in perceptions of exposure to macroeconomic risk by providing the respondents with data on actual changes in the unemployment rate among people similar to them over the Great Recession. While some respondents receive data from the American Community Survey, others receive data from the Current Population Survey, which differ due to sampling variation and procedural differences. Thereafter, we measure people's perceptions of how exposed they personally are to unemployment risk during recessions. Finally, we measure people's demand for receiving one of four different macroeconomic forecasts including forecasts about inflation, government spending, the return on government bonds and the likelihood of a recession.

Experimental Design Details
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
Apprxoximately 1000
Sample size: planned number of observations
Apprxoximately 1000
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Half respondents receive info from ACS, while the other half receives info from the CPS
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is 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