Human capital externalities in civic participation

Last registered on May 21, 2022

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Human capital externalities in civic participation
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0008631
Initial registration date
November 30, 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
December 03, 2021, 2:48 PM EST

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

Last updated
May 21, 2022, 10:06 AM EDT

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

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Higher School of Economics National Research University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Higher School of Economics National Research University
PI Affiliation
Freie Universitat Berlin

Additional Trial Information

Status
Completed
Start date
2021-11-30
End date
2022-02-28
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
Using an online survey of Moscow residents, we plan to study the effect to which middle class affects civic and political participation in an authoritarian setting. We want to measure both individual-level and community-level effects, as well as their interaction. Our intuition is as follows: educated and upper-middle-income individuals are more politically and civically active, especially if they are employed in the private sector; at the same time, the presence of such individuals in the neighborhood may create an externality, creating more vibrant local politics and lowering the cost of civic and political participation for both middle class and those outside of it. The survey will contain an experimental question improving our ability to causally identify the effect of the individual's strata and environment on individual's civic engagement.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Ivanov, Denis, Alexander Libman and Alexei Zakharov. 2022. "Human capital externalities in civic participation." AEA RCT Registry. May 21. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.8631
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2021-11-30
Intervention End Date
2021-12-31

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Reported willingness to take part in various civic initiatives
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We plan to survey N = 1700 Moscow Internet users; the survey will be administered by a marketing research firm with substantial experience in this type of research. The sample will be stratified according to gender and age group (18-29, 39-39, 49-49 and 50+). The survey will be carried out in December 2021 and will contain a conjoint experiment to study civic mobilization. Each respondent will be presented with 4 scenarios, each describing a hypothetical situation where a neighbor approaches the respondent and proposes to take part in a civic initiative. The characteristics of the neighbor (gender, age, etc) will be varied. The primary outcome of interest will be the willingness of the respondent to take part in an initiative.
Experimental Design Details
The subjects will be presented with the following text:

``City residents sometimes take part in various civic initiatives, such as signing petitions or supporting the election of municipal deputies. In order to make the right choice, people sometimes rely on the opinions of their neighbors. We want to know whose opinion you consider the most valuable. You will be presented with several situations where a neighbor asks you to participate in a number of initiatives. Please let us know whether you will support his/her propositions or not. In each case, we will provide you with information about the neighbor's GENDER, AGE, INCOME, EDUCATION, EMPLOYMENT, and DURATION OF RESIDENCE IN YOUR BUILDING.''

Then the subjects will then be presented with 4 scenarios, each describing a different neighbor with the following characteristics chosen at random:
1. Gender: Male/Female
2. Age: 30, 45 or 60 years
3. Income: 20000, 40000, 60000, 10000 or 150000 Roubles per month
4. Education: Higher education or not
5. Position at work: Manager/subordinate [Manager positions will have incomes of 60000, 100000, or 150000
Roubles only]
6. Employed in state/private sector
7. Length or residence: 1 or 4 years

Following each scenario we will ask two sets of questions. We first present four different propositions by the neighbor. We then explore possible reasons why the neighbor's propositions may or may not be supported. We ask about generic trust toward that neighbor, as well as about two specific reasons to trust that neighbor. The last two questions deal with the specific reasons why the neighbor may or may not be trusted: The neighbor's perceived competence, and the congruence of his/her interests with those of the respondent. Thus we are interested how the neighbor is evaluated along valence and position dimensions.

1. ``Which of the neighbor's propositions will you support? Signing a petition against a new highway in your district/ Taking part in a protest action against a new highway in your district/ Leaving a signature in support for someone else's candidacy for your building's homeowner's council/ Leaving a signature in support for someone else's candidacy for a the position of a municipal deputy [Definitely yes/ Rather yes/ Rather no/ Definitely no].''
2. ``Please answer the following questions. Do you trust this neighbor/ Do you think other neighbors will trust the neighbor/ Do you think this neighbor is competent in questions related to your building of residence or district/ Do you think this neighbor's interests are the same as yours? [Definitely yes/ Rather yes/ Rather no/ Definitely no].''

We expect two results. First, in a social environment more
proximate to that of an individual, it is more likely that this individual will engage in civic activism. Second, it is possible that in some social environments passivity will become the social norm, preventing civic engagement. In this case, it is possible that individual’s civic
engagement will be mobilized by individuals with higher social status. This individual could be perceived as more competent and knowledgeable, which will trigger the mobilization effects. This translates into the following hypotheses:

-An individual is more likely to be mobilized by someone from a similar social strata
-An individual is more likely to be mobilized by someone with a high social status
-Someone with a high social status is more likely to be perceived as more competent; someone from a similarsocial strata is more likely to be perceived as having similar interests
Randomization Method
Randomization done by computer
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
2107 individuals after data collection was complete
Sample size: planned number of observations
2107 individuals after data collection was complete
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
It is a conjoint experiment. Each individual will be presented with 4 scenarios.
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
IRB of the National Research University Higher School of Economics
IRB Approval Date
2021-11-12
IRB Approval Number
N/A
Analysis Plan

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Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
Yes
Intervention Completion Date
December 20, 2021, 12:00 +00:00
Data Collection Complete
Yes
Data Collection Completion Date
December 20, 2021, 12:00 +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
2107 individuals after data collection was complete
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
No
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
2107 individuals after data collection was complete
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?
No

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials