Citizen and Politician Surveys on Corruption in Italy, Brazil, and Pakistan

Last registered on August 02, 2022

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Citizen and Politician Surveys on Corruption in Italy, Brazil, and Pakistan
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0008331
Initial registration date
October 25, 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
October 26, 2021, 3:12 PM EDT

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

Last updated
August 02, 2022, 4:24 AM EDT

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

Locations

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Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Boston University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Boston University
PI Affiliation
European University Institute

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2021-10-25
End date
2022-10-31
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial is based on or builds upon one or more prior RCTs.
Abstract
We survey 1,000-1,500 adult citizens, the universe of first-level subnational legislators, and the universe of national legislators in Brazil, Italy, and Pakistan to study their views about corruption. Using vignettes, we probe the trade-offs they think politicians should and would make between efficiency and corruption and between equity and corruption. We also solicit views about how corrupt politicians are believed to be. Sending the same survey to citizens and elected legislators allows us to explore how their views differ.
The survey also has two experimental components. The first, present for both for citizens and legislators, studies the willingness to waste money and/or engage in a trivial lie in order to obtain an ego-rent (in this case, a certificate reporting a substantial donation on behalf of the respondent to a charity of his or her choice). The second, only present in the legislator survey, studies how likely legislators are to change their views on corruption and to pledge their support for anti-corruption policies after they have been informed about citizens’ views on the topic.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Ferroni, Matteo Francesco, Raymond Fisman and Miriam Golden. 2022. "Citizen and Politician Surveys on Corruption in Italy, Brazil, and Pakistan." AEA RCT Registry. August 02. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.8331
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
We elicit respondents' views about corruption and we explore the trade-offs they think politicians should and would make between efficiency and corruption and between equity and corruption. Using two randomized experiments, we study the respondents' willingness to waste money and/or engage in a trivial lie to obtain an ego-rent, and how likely legislators are to change their positions on corruption and pledge their support for anti-corruption policies after being informed of citizens' views on corruption.

We collect a representative citizen sample along the gender, income, and age dimensions in Italy, Brazil, and Pakistan. The survey will also be sent to all first-level subnational politicians of these three countries and to all national legislators.
Intervention Start Date
2021-10-25
Intervention End Date
2022-10-31

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
We are interested in i) perceptions about corruption in the respondent's own country across the political spectrum; ii) trade-offs between efficiency and corruption; iii) trade-offs between equity and corruption; iv) willingness to waste money for ego-gratification; v) willingness to lie for ego-gratification; vi) whether respondents who are willing to lie are also more tolerant of corruption; vii) whether proving legislators with information on citizens' views on corruption changes their views on this topic and makes them more likely to pledge their support for anti-corruption policies.

All these outcomes, except the last one, will be collected both for citizens and politicians of the three countries surveyed.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Certificate treatment
We will randomize the information provided to the respondents about the cost of producing a certificate reporting their donation to a charity of their choice. The control group will be informed that the production cost of €60 will be covered by the researchers; therefore their donation will be €1,000 and this is what the certificate will state. Treatment group 1 will be informed that if they ask for the certificate, the production cost of €60 will be covered using part of the donation money. Therefore their donation will be €940 and this is what the certificate will state. Treatment group 2 will be informed that if they ask for the certificate, the production cost of €60 will be covered using part of the donation money. Therefore their donation will be €940 but the certificate will state that they donated €1,000.

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We also randomize the questions' order. The order randomization will divide respondents in two groups. Respondents assigned to Order 1 will first answer to the vignette questions eliciting trade-offs between equity/efficiency and corruption, then to the questions on redistribution policy preferences, then to the questions on corruption, and finally to the questions on trust. Respondents assigned to Order 2 will start with the question on trust, then the vignettes, then the questions on redistribution policy preferences, and finally the questions on corruption.

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Information treatment
We will randomize whether legislators receive information about their citizens’ views on corruption. The control group will receive no information about the citizens’ views. The treatment group will be provided with information on the aggregate levels of citizens’ tolerance for corruption relative to legislator's own answers to the same set of questions (the five vignettes that can be read in the attached questionnaire).
We further randomize the kinds of public announcement that we ask legislators to make on social media. Half of the respondents will be asked to publicly announce their support for legislation that strengthens financial disclosure by persons running for elected office. The other half will be asked to disseminate information about the most important piece of legislation they have supported recently.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done by a computer
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
0
Sample size: planned number of observations
1,000 citizens in Italy contacted online 1,000 citizens in Brazil contacted online 500 citizens in Pakistan contacted online 1,000 citizens in Pakistan contacted in person The survey will be sent to 917 regional politicians in Italy, 1001 state-level politicians in Brazil, and 676 provincial-level politicians in Pakistan. The final number of politicians surveyed will depend on their response rates. A second round of surveying will solicit all national legislators in the lower house in Brazil (513), Pakistan (342), and Italy (630). The final number of politicians surveyed will depend on their response rates.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Italian sample:
167 citizens assigned to Treatment 1, order 1
167 citizens assigned to Treatment 2, order 1
166 citizens assigned to the control group, order 1
167 citizens assigned to Treatment 1, order 2
167 citizens assigned to Treatment 2, order 2
166 citizens assigned to the control group, order 2

Brazilian sample:
167 citizens assigned to Treatment 1, order 1
167 citizens assigned to Treatment 2, order 1
166 citizens assigned to the control group, order 1
167 citizens assigned to Treatment 1, order 2
167 citizens assigned to Treatment 2, order 2
166 citizens assigned to the control group, order 2

Pakistan online sample:
83 citizens assigned to Treatment 1, order 1
83 citizens assigned to Treatment 2, order 1
84 citizens assigned to the control group, order 1
83 citizens assigned to Treatment 1, order 2
83 citizens assigned to Treatment 2, order 2
84 citizens assigned to the control group, order 2

Pakistan in person sample:
167 citizens assigned to Treatment 1, order 1
167 citizens assigned to Treatment 2, order 1
166 citizens assigned to the control group, order 1
167 citizens assigned to Treatment 1, order 2
167 citizens assigned to Treatment 2, order 2
166 citizens assigned to the control group, order 2

Politicians sample (for all countries):
1/6 of politicians assigned to Treatment 1, order 1
1/6 of politicians assigned to Treatment 2, order 1
1/6 of politicians assigned to the control group, order 1
1/6 of politicians assigned to Treatment 1, order 2
1/6 of politicians assigned to Treatment 2, order 2
1/6 of politicians assigned to the control group, order 2

An independent randomization will randomize the legislators in the following groups:
1/4 of politicians will receive the Information Treatment, pubic pledge on anti-corruption
1/4 of politicians will receive the Information Treatment, public announcement of legislation
1/4 of politicians won't receive the Information Treatment, pubic pledge on anti-corruption
1/4 of politicians won't receive the Information Treatment, public announcement of legislation
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Supporting Documents and Materials

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IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Boston University Charles River Campus Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
2021-09-22
IRB Approval Number
6193X
Analysis Plan

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