The Effects of Inter-Sectarian Contact

Last registered on August 25, 2022


Trial Information

General Information

The Effects of Inter-Sectarian Contact
Initial registration date
August 21, 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 25, 2022, 3:02 PM EDT

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



Primary Investigator

University of Heidelberg

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
The Shia-Sunni sectarian divide within Islam has recently become of great importance economically and politically, not just in the Middle East but globally. We aim to implement a pilot to increase contact in a very natural setting (mosques) in Pakistan. We aim to and evaluate its effect on beliefs and preferences of mosque-goers about the other sect as well as their economic behavior.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Chaudhry, Zain and Karrar Hussain. 2022. "The Effects of Inter-Sectarian Contact." AEA RCT Registry. August 25.
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
We will collect data at baseline and endline with all worshipers in each mosque. Through surveys, we want to measure mosque-goers’ beliefs and preferences for their own and the other sect in terms of (i) religiosity (multi-dimensional), (ii) their beliefs about their own and the opposite sect, and (iii) fair play (abuse of power, corruption). We will measure the nature of their prior interaction with the other sect. We will also collect their contact information and consent for future contact.

We will also conduct an incentivized experiments to measure their trust for members of their in-group and the out-group. To measure trust, we will offer them to buy books at differently discounted books. We show below how we expect the voucher to look like. The top row in both conditions shows Sunni books with the discount percentage (retail prices are PKR 80 and PKR 180 respectively). The bottom row in both conditions shows Shia books with the discount percentage (retail prices are PKR 120 and PKR 135 respectively). The voucher is worth PKR 100.

Our outcome variables are the following: (i) do you trust the opposite sect and (ii) our experimental game's outcome as described above.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We aim to conduct the field experiment in Haripur, Pakistan. We will send trained volunteers of one sect to a mosque of the other sect (the volunteers be given training by religious authorities). The volunteers will offer normal prayers during the day following a visibly different way of praying (as do all members of that sect). We believe that this contact, in a place of worship, is a very natural and subtle interaction. It is important to note that locals know whether a mosque is for Shias or Sunnis and hence they segregate along sectarian lines. Segregation is nearly perfect during daily prayers, when our volunteers will visit the mosques. Daily prayers happen five times a day, but we will exclude prayers that happen very early in the morning and very late in the evening.

We will use two datasets to select our sample of mosques in Haripur, Khyber Pakhtunkhawa. First, we have acquired an administrative dataset on all mosques from the Ministry of Religious Affairs. It includes information on the location and denomination of the mosques. This dataset is not public due to its sensitivity. While private mosques do exist, they are extremely small in number. Using these two datasets, we will randomly select 32 mosques equally divided between both sects.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Mosque level randomization
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Lahore University of Management Sciences
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials