The Effect of Relative Income on Conformism

Last registered on March 15, 2021


Trial Information

General Information

The Effect of Relative Income on Conformism
Initial registration date
March 12, 2021

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
March 15, 2021, 10:50 AM EDT

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



Primary Investigator

Paderborn University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Paderborn University

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
In this study, we test how relative income effects affect conformism behavior. We conduct an experiment, in which we vary relative income in form of an endowment and use a repeated voting structure between 2 policies to observe conformism behavior in groups. The repeated voting structure allows us to disentangle conformism behavior caused by different motives. The different high incomes could influence the uncertainty about the ability to make a good decision and thus affects the chance for social learning. Another treatment effect could be that the income effects induce general reciprocity and affect conformism behavior over the channel of social responsibility. Knowing when people do or do not conform, can help to implement measures to support the implementation of the majority┬┤s vote.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Bopp, Fabian and Larissa Wienke. 2021. "The Effect of Relative Income on Conformism." AEA RCT Registry. March 15.
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Share of conformism behavior within the minority subjects
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
We implement repeated voting between two options in groups of three. As a result, we may observe how a subject in the minority behaves and whether she conforms or not.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
In this study, we create a relative income effect. Subjects form a group of three members. Using a repeat decision between two options with different decision rules we first elicit the unbiased preferences, then create a situation in which we can observe minority behavior, and then by changing the decision rule between the repeated choices observe whether and why subjects conform.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
randomization is done by a computer
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
102 subjects
Sample size: planned number of observations
102 subjects* 5 choice problems=510 observations (We are only interested in minority observations) 510*0.25 (estimate of minority observations per choice problem &subject)= estimated 126 (interesting) observations. We use groups of 3 subjects but do not force them into a minority. Thus it can happen, that all 3 choose the same option and no group member ends up in the minority. This explains why estimated share is smaller them 0.33.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
estimated 63 observation per treated type
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

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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