Who are the "elite"? Dimensions of class-consciousness in Japan

Last registered on October 15, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Who are the "elite"? Dimensions of class-consciousness in Japan
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0008322
Initial registration date
October 13, 2021
Last updated
October 15, 2021, 3:39 PM EDT

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
The University of Tokyo

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
The University of Tokyo
PI Affiliation
The University of Tokyo
PI Affiliation
The University of Tokyo

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2021-11-01
End date
2021-11-14
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
Societies are more or less stratified but often in different dimensions. For example, income is more skewed in the United States than in Japan, but universities are more stratified in Japan than in the United States. The skewness of income in Japan, by itself, does not necessarily mean that Japanese society is more equal than American society.

In this study, we will investigate which factors Japanese individuals count consider when identifying their "elite" people among them by an experimental survey. We will extract these factors in two stages. First, we will ask respondents to assume that Japanese society is stratified into 10 tiers and to write any word(s) to describe people classified as the most elite to the least elite or at tiers 1 (highest), 3, 5, 7, 9, or 10. Tier 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, or 10 is randomly drawn and shown to each respondent. Next, we will ask respondents to evaluate a) education, b) income, c) total household income, d) occupation, e) wealth, f) family origin, g) gender, and h) social reputation as measures with which to classify people between 1 (the most important) and 5 (the least important).

We will also collect information about respondents' background characteristics such as age, gender, prefecture, and education; working status, if employed, size of the employer and job title; income; total household income; whether he or she reads a newspaper, internet news, or books; political preferences, partisanship; and self-perception of social class.

By the design, we will attempt to identify factors shared by Japanese people in recognizing social class.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Fujihara, Sho et al. 2021. "Who are the "elite"? Dimensions of class-consciousness in Japan." AEA RCT Registry. October 15. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.8322-1.0
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
We will adopt a factorial design with two stages.

I. Respondents will be shown that we assume that Japanese society can be classified into 10 classes from 1 (the highest) to 10 (the lowest).
II-1 During the first stage of our survey, we will ask the respondents to write any word(s) to describe class 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, or 10. A class will be randomly drawn from 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, or 10 and shown to each respondent.
II-2 During the second stage of our survey, we will ask the respondents to evaluate a) education, b) income, c) household income, d) occupation, e) wealth, f) family origin, g) gender, and h) social reputation as measures with which to classify people from 1 (the most important) to 5 (the least important).
Intervention Start Date
2021-11-01
Intervention End Date
2021-11-14

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
We will inductively identify factors that Japanese people use to classify fellow citizens.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We will identify factors used to classify fellow Japanese citizens by soliciting

I-1 respondents' free descriptions of a randomly drawn social class

and

II-2 respondents' evaluation of education, income, total household income, occupation, wealth, family origin, gender, and social reputation between 1 (the most important) and 5 (the least important).

We will analyze the results of II-1 by a machine learning algorithm for text mining. We use the results of II-2 such that our interpretation of the results of I-1 is consistent with our interpretation of the results of II-2 by a machine learning algorithm.

We will also collect information about respondents' background characteristics such as age, gender, prefecture, and education; working status, if employed, size of the employer and job title; income, total household income; whether she or he reads a newspaper, internet news, or books; political preferences; partisanship; and self-perception of social class. To investigate possible heterogeneity of the classification perception across the background characteristics, we will deploy a generalized random forest algorithm.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization in process I-1 is to be conducted by a computer in a survey company.
Randomization Unit
Individual.
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
15,000 individuals
Sample size: planned number of observations
15,000.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
15,000.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Ethical Review Board, Institute of Social Science, The University of Tokyo
IRB Approval Date
2021-07-21
IRB Approval Number
21-4

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
No
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