The impact of appeals to aid on attitudes to aid and views on other global issues

Last registered on June 18, 2022

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
The impact of appeals to aid on attitudes to aid and views on other global issues
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0009604
Initial registration date
June 17, 2022

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
June 18, 2022, 10:24 AM EDT

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

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
The Australian National University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2022-07-01
End date
2023-07-01
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
This survey experiment will study the impact on public opinion of presenting arguments for foreign aid framed in four different ways. We will test the impact both on attitudes to aid and on attitudes to other ways that more affluent countries can promote development in poorer countries.

1. The first frame will describe the importance of aid in general terms.
2. The second frame will describe the importance of aid in helping countries respond to climate change.
3. The third frame will describe the importance of aid in helping countries respond to Covid-19.
4. The fourth frame will describe the importance of aid as a tool for helping countries respond to conflict.

The frames will be presented to survey participants in the form information interventions: vignettes that resemble short newspaper articles.

In the analysis we will examine whether the information interventions change people’s attitudes to aid. We will also study whether the vignettes change people’s attitudes to other global issues.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Wood, Terence. 2022. "The impact of appeals to aid on attitudes to aid and views on other global issues." AEA RCT Registry. June 18. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.9604
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
This is a survey experiment.

In addition to the control group, which will receive no vignette, four types of ‘information interventions’ will be provided in the survey experiment.

(T1) A ‘placebo’ group that will receive a factually-accurate vignette about the general need for aid.

(T2) A ‘climate change’ group that will receive a factually-accurate vignette that describes the need for aid, and which places particular emphasis on how aid can help countries adapt to climate change.

(T3) A ‘coronavirus’ group that will receive a factually-accurate vignette that describes the need for aid, and which places particular emphasis on how aid can help countries respond to Covid-19.

(T4) A ‘conflict’ group that will receive a factually-accurate vignette that describes the need for aid, and which places particular emphasis on how aid can help countries respond to conflicts.
Intervention Start Date
2022-07-01
Intervention End Date
2022-08-15

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
There are two main outcomes of interest. These are:
1) Whether the vignettes change people’s attitude to aid.
2) Whether the vignettes change people’s attitudes to other actions that aid donor countries could be taking to help developing countries.

In particular, in addition to aid, we will study whether the vignettes change people’s attitudes to:
a. reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions;
b. accepting refugees;
c. accepting (non-refugee) migrants from developing countries;
d. and attitudes to global trade.

These additional areas have been chosen because they all pertain to actions that more affluent countries could take, which do not involve aid, which could promote development outcomes.

Responses to central question about aid will be measured on a 5-point scale. Responses to the other outcomes of interest are measured on 4-point scales.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
This is a survey experiment.

The effects of the treatments will be evaluated via an online survey of a nationally representative (on sociodemographic traits) sample of the Australian population.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomisation will be conducted using the survey firm’s software. Randomization will take place within 18 strata based on gender, age, and political orientation.
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
N/A
Sample size: planned number of observations
5000 total
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
1000 per treatment arm.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Power calculations have been conducted to estimate the sample size based upon the typical effect sizes found in similar Australian studies on this topic, as well as anticipated support for aid in the control group based on recent surveys (Wood et al. 2021; Wood & Hoy 2022; Wood et al. 2020). The minimum detectable effect size on the primary question of interest (desire for level of aid spending to be changed) is around 6 percentage points (with power 0.8 and alpha 0.05) with a sample size of 1000 individuals per group.
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Australian National University Human Ethics
IRB Approval Date
2022-06-02
IRB Approval Number
2022/175
Analysis Plan

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