Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Concerns about income inequality: We ask participants how concerned they are about income inequality. The concrete question is: Do you think income differences between rich and poor people in the United States/Germany are: not a problem at all; a small problem; a problem; a serious problem; a very serious problem.
Perceived Covid-19 effect on differences in live expectancy: We ask participants about their beliefs to what extent socioeconomic differences in life expectancy have changed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Heterogeneity analysis: Depending on the distribution of prior perceptions, we may not observe an average treatment effect on outcomes. We therefore generally differentiate between the treatment effects for participants who overestimate, correctly estimate, and underestimate the true (gender-averaged) socioeconomic inequality in life expectancy. We also study how treatment effects vary with or are mediated by:
1. Certainty about perceptions
2. Beliefs about a person’s degree of control about one’s own life expectancy (measured with a luck-effort belief scale and with an item battery about causes of health problems)
3. Attitude towards government (measuring trust, ability, and scope of government).
4. Political orientation (measured once with a left/right scale and once with party affiliation)
5. Socioeconomic background (such as actual income, employment status, age, gender, migration background, education, social mobility, health insurance status, …)
6. Perceived own income position and beliefs about a person’s degree of control about one’s own income position
7. Responsibility of government and other actors
8. Own health and health behavior
9. Individual preferences on patience, altruism, and risk.
Mediation: To explain mechanisms of any potential treatment effects, we use a mediation analysis. The main potential mediator outcomes refer to the magnitude of and the concerns about socioeconomic differences in life expectancy. Moreover, we may also observe that the treatment affects luck/effort beliefs, trust in government, and the responsibility of the government for addressing inequalities.
Country comparison: We also study why (if at all) misperceptions and treatment effects on concerns and policy preferences differ between the United States and Germany. Potential explanations for any differential effects of information provision in the two countries may come from differences in the attitude towards government, luck/effort beliefs, political orientation, perceptions of health, health care access and income position, health behavior, responsibility of government, and other factors that differ between the two countries.