Attitudes Towards Inherited Inequality

Last registered on July 12, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Attitudes Towards Inherited Inequality
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0007948
Initial registration date
July 12, 2021
Last updated
July 12, 2021, 11:54 AM EDT

Locations

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Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Uni Bonn

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Bonn

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2021-09-01
End date
2021-12-01
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Inequality is often inherited: individuals are not involved in the process that generates inequality, yet end up with different amounts of resources or opportunities based solely on relations to other people. We conduct an online experiment with a broadly representative sample of the US population to study individuals’ redistributive preferences in situations featuring inherited inequality and how they relate to preferences over real world policies. Further, we investigate how redistributive preferences depend on a) the nature of the association between individuals who inherit and who bequest and b) whether consumption inequality or inequality of opportunity is inherited.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Freyer, Timo and Laurenz Richard Kuno Günther. 2021. "Attitudes Towards Inherited Inequality." AEA RCT Registry. July 12. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.7948-1.0
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2021-09-01
Intervention End Date
2021-12-01

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Fraction of inequality in the initial allocation that is equalized
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We conduct an online experiment to investigate attitudes towards inherited inequality among a broadly representative sample of the US population. The experiment builds on the impartial spectator paradigm (Cappelen et al., 2013), where impartial spectators can redistribute money between pairs of participants who received their initial payoffs either based on their relative performance on a real effort task or based on a random draw prior to the redistribution stage. We extend this paradigm by allowing active participants to not only generate a payoff for themselves but also for an associated passive counterpart who inherits a payoff. Across three treatments, we vary whether active and passive participants are meaningfully or randomly associated, and whether consumption inequality or inequality of opportunity is inherited. We are particularly interested in how spectators redistribute between passive participants, and how these decisions relate to spectators' preferences over real-world institutions and policies.

References:
Cappelen, Alexander W., et al. "Just luck: An experimental study of risk-taking and fairness." American Economic Review 103.4 (2013): 1398-1413.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done by a computer in an online survey
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
1740 spectators
Sample size: planned number of observations
1740 spectators, 5x4=20 redistribution decisions per spectator => 34800 redistribution decisions in total
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
We aim at n=580 participants in each of three treatments.
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
Analysis Plan

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