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Testing for Fatalism in Responses to HIV Risk Information
Last registered on October 27, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Testing for Fatalism in Responses to HIV Risk Information
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0006666
Initial registration date
October 24, 2020
Last updated
October 27, 2020 7:29 AM EDT
Location(s)
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of Minnesota
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Status
Completed
Start date
2012-08-14
End date
2012-12-14
Secondary IDs
Abstract
I study whether Malawians' responses to HIV risks are "fatalistic", meaning that they respond to increased risks by having more risky sex rather than less. I randomly provide information about the true risk of HIV transmission, which is lower than people think it is, to a sample of sexually-active adults in the Zomba district of southern Malawi. This is an area where previous ethnographic and correlational research has documented behavior that appears fatalistic. I then measure how people change their sexual behavior in response to the information treatment, looking for evidence of a U-shaped relationship between risk beliefs and risky sex.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Kerwin, Jason. 2020. "Testing for Fatalism in Responses to HIV Risk Information." AEA RCT Registry. October 27. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.6666-1.0.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2012-09-24
Intervention End Date
2012-10-25
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Total sex acts in the past week, as measured on a retrospective sex "diary" in which interviewers walk subjects back through the past 7 days to record all sexual activity.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
I draw a random sample of 70 villages from one sub-district of Zomba district, stratified by distance to the closest trading center, and assign half to the treatment group and half to the control group. Within each village I sample 30 sexually-active adults, stratified by gender. I conduct a baseline survey to measure beliefs about HIV risks. At the end of the baseline survey, the treatment group gets an additional survey module presenting information about the true risk of HIV transmission from unprotected sex with an infected partner. 1-4 months after the baseline survey, I return for a followup survey of all respondents to measure changes in risk beliefs and sexual behavior.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Village
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
70 villages
Sample size: planned number of observations
2100
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
35 villages treatment, 35 villages control
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