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Understanding, Attitudes and Behaviour: Old-age Security in Germany

Last registered on May 07, 2021


Trial Information

General Information

Understanding, Attitudes and Behaviour: Old-age Security in Germany
Initial registration date
November 23, 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
November 23, 2020, 10:31 AM EST

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

Last updated
May 07, 2021, 2:30 AM EDT

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.



Primary Investigator

Friedrich Schiller University Jena

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Friedrich Schiller University Jena
PI Affiliation
University of Mannheim
PI Affiliation
University of Mannheim

Additional Trial Information

Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
With this experiment we aim to investigate whether the evaluation of policy reforms regarding the German public pension system changes, when participants are confronted with the demographic change in Germany in a control and treatment group setting as part of a survey experiment. Furthermore, the role of understanding about and attitudes towards the pension system is analyzed.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Aprea, Carmela et al. 2021. "Understanding, Attitudes and Behaviour: Old-age Security in Germany." AEA RCT Registry. May 07.
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Evaluation of policy changes concerning the German pension system
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The participants are randomly sorted into one of the two treatment groups or into the control group. Treatment group A is asked about its prior beliefs of the number of citizens in retirement age per 100 citizens in working age in the years 2020 and 2050. Then this group is provided with the true information. Treatment group B is also asked about its prior beliefs, but does not receive any information. The control group is not asked about its prior beliefs and is not confronted in other ways with the topic of demographic change.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
randomization done by a computer
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
approximately 330 individuals for each experimental group
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB of the Faculty of Business and Economics at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Intervention Completion Date
May 03, 2021, 12:00 +00:00
Data Collection Complete
Data Collection Completion Date
May 03, 2021, 12:00 +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
1000 individuals
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Demographic change has an impact on pay-as-you-go pension systems. To maintain their financial sustainability, reforms are necessary, but often lack public support. Using representative survey data from Germany, we conduct a survey experiment to investigate whether salience or information about demographic change increases preferences for reforms in general and for specific reform measures. We find that salience and information provision increase the perceived necessity for reforms. Furthermore, salience increases preferences for raising the retirement age over other reform measures, while information provision reduces preferences for tax subsidies. In addition, we highlight the impact of prior beliefs on the treatment effects. As the salience and information treatments hardly differ, we conclude that it is not so much the information about the demographic change, which matters. Rather, being made aware of the challenges facing the pension system affects reform preferences.
Schuetz, J. S. Uebelmesser, C. Aprea and R. Baginski (2023): Pension reform preferences in Germany: Does information matter?, European Journal of Political Economy (forthcoming).

Reports & Other Materials