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Elite behaviour and political participation: A survey experiment in Tanzania
Last registered on April 11, 2018

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Elite behaviour and political participation: A survey experiment in Tanzania
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0000939
Initial registration date
November 09, 2015
Last updated
April 11, 2018 2:54 AM EDT
Location(s)
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Chr. Michelsen Institute
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Chr. Michelsen Institute
Additional Trial Information
Status
Completed
Start date
2015-10-30
End date
2015-11-14
Secondary IDs
Abstract
This study builds and expands on on our earlier work on effects of elite behaviour on citizen political participation. In Kolstad and Wiig (2015) we use country-year panel data to test the effect of self-serving elite behaviour, proxied by portfolio investment in tax havens, on voter turnout. Using fixed effects estimation, we find that for well-functioning democracies there is a positive relation between the use of tax havens and voter turnout, suggesting that self-serving elite behaviour is associated with citizen political mobilization rather than voter apathy. While country fixed effects and further time-variant covariates are included to address endogeneity, it is difficult to fully allay such concerns using observational data. This pre-analysis plan therefore details an experimental study which will be performed to provide further evidence on the causal effect of self-serving elite behaviour on political participation. The experiment randomly assigns individuals to treatments (detailed below) where they are given information on elite behaviour and to a control group, in order to test the effect of giving such information on political behaviour, and to compare effects of giving information in different ways.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Kolstad, Ivar and Arne Wiig. 2018. "Elite behaviour and political participation: A survey experiment in Tanzania." AEA RCT Registry. April 11. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.939-3.0.
Former Citation
Kolstad, Ivar and Arne Wiig. 2018. "Elite behaviour and political participation: A survey experiment in Tanzania." AEA RCT Registry. April 11. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/939/history/27980.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Please see detailed pre-analysis plan.
Intervention Start Date
2015-10-30
Intervention End Date
2015-11-14
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Please see detailed pre-analysis plan.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Please see detailed pre-analysis plan.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Please see detailed pre-analysis plan.
Experimental Design Details
Please see detailed pre-analysis plan.
Randomization Method
Please see detailed pre-analysis plan.
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Please see detailed pre-analysis plan.
Sample size: planned number of observations
Please see detailed pre-analysis plan.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Please see detailed pre-analysis plan.
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
Analysis Plan Documents
Pre-analysis plan

MD5: d17f85e189e8a2d4c83b8a7275ce3235

SHA1: d7cd7cbbfa523079ca316d89d5467a5b7afb08f2

Uploaded At: November 09, 2015

Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
Yes
Intervention Completion Date
November 13, 2015, 12:00 AM +00:00
Is data collection complete?
Yes
Data Collection Completion Date
November 13, 2015, 12:00 AM +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
600
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
600
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
200 control, 200 in each of the two treatments
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No

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Program Files
Program Files
No
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers
Abstract
We present results of a randomised field experiment where voters in Tanzania were given information
about elite use of tax havens. Information provided in a neutral form had no effect, while information phrased in
more morally charged terms led to a reduction in voting intentions. Rather than increase the perceived importance
of voting, charged information tends to undermine confidence in political institutions and the social contract. The
effects are particularly pronounced among the less well off, indicating that increased transparency in the absence
of perceived agency may not improve political participation.
Citation
Ivar Kolstad & Arne Wiig (2018) How Does Information About Elite Tax Evasion Affect Political Participation: Experimental Evidence from Tanzania, The Journal of Development Studies, DOI: 10.1080/00220388.2018.1448067