Culture and economic decision-making

Last registered on November 16, 2021


Trial Information

General Information

Culture and economic decision-making
Initial registration date
August 24, 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
August 26, 2021, 12:38 PM EDT

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

Last updated
November 16, 2021, 10:04 PM EST

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


Primary Investigator

Hiroshima University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
We study how culture is related to economic decision making via language. We focus on the Aymara language used in the west part of Bolivia, and control by Spanish as well as two other native languages (Guarani and Quechua). Subjects will play games where rewards depend on intertemporal decision making and risk behavior.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Caro-Burnett, Johann and Yuichiro Yoshida. 2021. "Culture and economic decision-making." AEA RCT Registry. November 16.
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
In the risk behavior game, we will measure how much and how many times participants bet a given amount of cash.
In the intertemporal decision making game, we will measure the impatience of subjects by "time", in a variation of the marshmallow experiment.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
At the end, we will also explicitly ask subjects questions regarding their opinion on (1) the direction in which time flows, (2) whether they consider themselves being optimistic, and (3) whether they "accept their destiny" or try to anticipate all possible outcomes and make a rational decision.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Subjects will play games with monetary rewards. We will focus on two types of games: intertemporal decision making and risk behavior. We aim to identify the effect of culture on economic decision-making, focusing on language as the main source of heterogeneity.
Experimental Design Details
We will visit three regions in Bolivia. On the west, we will conduct the intervention in Aymara and Spanish. In central Bolivia, we will conduct the intervention in Quechua and Spanish. In the East, we will conduct the intervention in Guarani and Spanish.
Based on existing literature, Aymara language differs from most languages because the "future is behind the self." We believe this perception of time will affect economic decision making.
We will compare the decision making between groups of people that are similar in regards to education, income and living in rural areas. They will mostly differ in their native language. The ideal comparison should be Aymara and Spanish in the east part of Bolivia. However, to possibly control for income effects and "cultural spillovers", we will also include other languages and other regions in Bolivia.
Randomization Method
Randomization is special in our intervention. When comparing a native language with Spanish language, it is a natural experiment since at the moment of birth, a "soul" is born in a given family with a given culture.
However, since we focus on Aymara, we will randomize in this group as well as the Quechua and Guarani. Half of the native speaking subjects will be interviewed and receive directions for the games in their native language and the other half in Spanish. The randomization will be done in front of each participant. They are all bilingual, so there is no language barrier. We will use very simple terms when explaining the game.
Randomization Unit
For the game regarding risk, the unit of analysis will be each iteration of the game. There will be two "training games" with minor prizes (candies) and four games involving cash. So, the number of observations will be four times the number of subjects.
For the "patience" game, which is a variation of the marshmallow experiment, the unit of analysis is at the individual level.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
6 clusters. Aymara and Spanish in East Bolivia, Quechua and Spanish in Central Bolivia, Guarani and Spanish in West Bolivia.
Sample size: planned number of observations
Total: 450 subjects
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
East Bolivia: Aymara = 100 and Spanish = 50
Central Bolivia: Quechua = 100 and Spanish = 50
West Bolivia: Guarani= 100 and Spanish = 50
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Hiroshima University, Graduate
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

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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