Cambia, ¿todo cambia? The role of perceived social mobility on protests and migration in Latin America

Last registered on August 03, 2022

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Cambia, ¿todo cambia? The role of perceived social mobility on protests and migration in Latin America
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0009835
Initial registration date
August 01, 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
August 03, 2022, 3:09 PM EDT

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

Locations

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Primary Investigator

Affiliation
UB

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
PI Affiliation
PI Affiliation

Additional Trial Information

Status
On going
Start date
2022-08-01
End date
2023-02-28
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
Although income inequality in Latin America has decreased in the last decades, the region remains the most unequal in the world. When looking at one of the most harmful types of inequality, social mobility, the picture is even gloomier.
According to the predictions of standard political economy models, people should react to low (expected) social mobility by demanding more redistributive policies. Nevertheless, broken social ladders have not led to more demand for redistribution as these models anticipated.

According to some scholars, a possible explanation is that people misperceive social mobility in their country. Nevertheless, while misperceptions are often found, a growing literature shows that their correction does not necessarily lead to more redistribution.

Only few studies have however tested the role of perceptions of social mobility in developing countries. Additionally, not much has been done to investigate if people react to (perceived) inequalities with other behaviors rather than asking for more redistribution. For instance, Hirschman (1970) contends that individuals have three choices when dissatisfied: voicing their discontent to change the situation, while continuing as a member, exiting the organization, or remaining loyal. Protests (voice) and emigration (exit) are thus alternative actions individuals can take when they are profoundly dissatisfied. Scant evidence for the Hirschman’s framework is however provided for developing countries and, more specifically, for Latin-American countries that have been historically strongly characterized by massive protests and emigration flow.

Our research contributes to the literature by examining the relation between perception of social mobility, preferences for redistribution, protest, and migration intentions in a unified framework. We provide novel observational and experimental evidence in Mexico of the effect of perceived social mobility: the latter might not only affect preferences for redistribution but also intentions (or decision) to change the status quo, by either emigrating or protesting.


Our research contributes to the literature by examining for the first time the relation between perception of inequalities, preferences for redistribution, protest, and migration intentions in a unified framework. In particular, we provide novel observational and experimental evidence in Latin America of the effect of individual perceived social mobility: the latter might not only affect preferences for redistribution but also intentions (or decision) to change the status quo, by either emigrating or protesting.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Li Donni, Paolo et al. 2022. "Cambia, ¿todo cambia? The role of perceived social mobility on protests and migration in Latin America." AEA RCT Registry. August 03. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.9835
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
We run an online survey in Mexico. We recruit participants through a professional survey company to ensure that our sample is representative of the country's population along key dimensions - gender, region, and age. To be eligible, subjects must be adults (age 18+) and must be citizens of the country. The surveys will be performed online or on phone.
Intervention Start Date
2022-08-21
Intervention End Date
2022-09-14

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Support for redistribution, intention to migrate and to protest. Two behavioral measures (donation and wtp for information).
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
We are also interested in the heterogeneity of the background characteristics of respondents and will thus look at outcomes by sub-groups as defined by past experiences of social mobility, trust in institutions, income, political ideology, past experience of protest and migration, perceptions of fairness. We will also test for several alternative mechanisms (feelings, political and economic discontent, perceptions of fairness)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Some respondents are assigned to a treatment while others to a control group. The treated group is provided information on social mobility.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
The randomization is done by the survey company.
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
1
Sample size: planned number of observations
1400 respondents
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
While the pilot is done with 400 respondents (4 groups to pre-test different framing of the treatment), in the main study, we will have 700 respondents for the control group, and around 700 respondent for the treatment group.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Comisión de Ética en la Experimentación Animal y Humana (CEEAH)
IRB Approval Date
2022-07-19
IRB Approval Number
CEEAH 6075