Acceptability of food policies

Last registered on September 11, 2020


Trial Information

General Information

Acceptability of food policies
Initial registration date
September 11, 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 11, 2020, 12:00 PM EDT

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


Primary Investigator

CNRS - Université Rennes 1

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Fribourg

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
This experiment aims to test the validity of the results found in an exploratory experiment.

In February - March 2020, we ran a first online survey on Prolific in which we sought to explore the determinants of the acceptability of food policies (information campaigns, labels, taxation, and withdrawal from the market). We focused on three types of products (sugar, palm oil and cage-eggs) contained in snacks like cereal bars. Participants were asked to report the acceptability level of each policy for a given topic (sugar, palm oil or cage-eggs) and whether they would hypothetically vote for their implementation.

We explored 9 factors for the acceptability of food policies:
- Legitimacy of the state to intervene
- Awareness of the externalities at stake
- Scientific norm on the topic
- Social norm on the topic
- Effectiveness of the proposed policy
- Targeting of the consumers of the proposed policy
- Coerciveness of the proposed policy
- Majoritarian support for the proposed policy
- Inequalities resulting from the proposed policy

We found support for all variables but scientific norm. We also found evidence for an interaction effect between awareness and coerciveness: the more the policy is seen as coercive, the more awareness has an impact on the acceptability of the food policies.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Espinosa, Romain and Anis Nassar . 2020. "Acceptability of food policies." AEA RCT Registry. September 11.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details


We will replicate our study on Prolific (see the material for the surveys).
660 participants will be recruted to fulfil our treatment surveys (220 participants for each survey).
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Acceptability score (Likert scale between 1 and 7), Voting decision (Dummy variable)
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Participants are allocated to one of the three questionnaires (see materials for the questionnaire).
220 participants are selected for each survey on Prolific.
Selection rule: born in the UK, UK national, English as first language, did not participate to the previous experiment.

The effectiveness item is asked twice (1 to 7 Likert scale). Participants who give significantly different answers to the same series of questions will be excluded from the analysis. (The average absolute deviation between the two answers should not be greater than 2.)
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Between subject design – Treatment varying survey content (sugar, palm, egg)
Randomization Unit
Individual level.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
3 treatment surveys.
Sample size: planned number of observations
220 participants per treatment, 660 in total.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
220 participants for each of the three treatments
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Supporting Documents and Materials

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Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials