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Morals and Donations
Last registered on October 15, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Morals and Donations
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0006592
Initial registration date
October 14, 2020
Last updated
October 15, 2020 12:36 PM EDT
Location(s)
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
RWI - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
RWI - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research
PI Affiliation
Nottingham Trent University
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2020-10-21
End date
2020-12-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
In this study, we extend the evidence for the relationship between identify (in terms of pro-environmental attitudes) and charitable giving. We conduct a discrete-choice experiment with randomized information treatments in a sample of about 400 students in the UK. Our expected outcome is that respondents who are subject to a treatment that evokes a recollection of “environmentally bad” behavior are more likely to cleanse by donating to a charity.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Galanakis, Kostas, Stephan Sommer and Colin Vance. 2020. "Morals and Donations." AEA RCT Registry. October 15. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.6592-1.0.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
“In fact, for an individual who has taken a medium-haul flight (e.g. from UK to a Southern European destination) flying might represent up to 40% of her annual CO2 footprint.”

And in the other we frame is as impersonal:

“In fact, if you have taken a medium-haul flight (e.g. from UK to a Southern European destination), flying might represent up to 40% of your annual CO2 footprint.”

The idea behind the latter treatment is that it leads to higher donation rates because participants want to make up for the bad behavior. Specifically, we expect the personal statement to have a larger effect on donation rates.
Intervention Start Date
2020-10-21
Intervention End Date
2020-12-31
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
A binary variable that takes the value one if participant i is willing to donate the voucher and zero otherwise
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
We conduct our experiment with about 400 students in the UK. Potential participants are invited to take part in a survey, and we inform them that one out of four participants will win a voucher for UK’s largest retail store. The survey is expected to take less than 10 minutes, and respondents can complete it either at home or with mobile devices, having the possibility to interrupt and continue at any time.

We send out the invitation to the survey via email. Beside the experimental data, we will also gather some basic socio-economic characteristics and attitudes as well as environmental preferences. The survey will be launched in mid-October and stopped when the expected sample size is reached.

Our analysis aims at identifying how donation decisions are related to environmental behavior. To this end, we design an experiment that splits the participants into a control and two treatment groups. We explain that as gratitude for participating in the survey, we will randomly assign a voucher to one out of four participants. The outcome of interest is whether – conditional on winning – respondents take the voucher or donate it to an environmental charity.

While we ask participants in the control group, right away whether they are willing to keep or donate the voucher, we first inform participants in the treatment groups about the carbon footprint of the aviation sector. The difference between the two treatment groups is that in one we frame the treatment as personal and in the other as impersonal.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization by a computer
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
400 students
Sample size: planned number of observations
400
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
around 133 per treatment arm
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
18.5 percentage points.
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
College Research Ethics Committee (CREC) at Nottingham Trent University
IRB Approval Date
2020-05-13
IRB Approval Number
2020/81
Analysis Plan
Analysis Plan Documents