Preferences over consumption of child support-eligible children

Last registered on July 05, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

Preferences over consumption of child support-eligible children
Initial registration date
August 29, 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 29, 2022, 10:25 PM EDT

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

Last updated
July 05, 2023, 4:54 AM EDT

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.



Primary Investigator

National University of Singapore Business School

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
A non-negligible fraction of men in the US are non-custodial fathers, and pay child support to maintain their children who do not live in their households. This study investigates the preferences of these fathers over the consumption of the children that they pay support for. We field a vignette survey experiment to a sample of such fathers obtained through an online survey panel. The vignettes randomize the consumption amounts allocated to these children and their current family, to allow estimation of preferences over how much these children consume vis-a-vis their current families.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Ong, Pinchuan. 2023. "Preferences over consumption of child support-eligible children." AEA RCT Registry. July 05.
Experimental Details


Vignette experiment showing child support-paying fathers scenarios that require spending on item categories.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Choice of which alternative the father chooses (total of 10 choices)
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Whether the primary outcome is different when we ask the father to compare with a child in his current family
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Fathers who have to pay child support are shown ten scenarios. In each scenario, a father is told that the child support-eligible child needs to spend money on a particular item category (e.g. medicine), and that someone in his current family does as well. He is presented with two alternatives: to spend a certain amount on the child and to spend a certain amount on the family member. The total amount spent is the same across the two alternatives, but the proportion between child and family member is randomized. In all scenarios, the father is told that the child's mother will handle the money, analogous to how child support payments officially go to the mother before the child is of age and not the child. For fathers with children in their current family (e.g. if they remarried), we additionally field two branches. In the first branch, we specify "a family member", while in the second branch, we specify this current child.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done by computer
Randomization Unit
Randomization is at the alternative level (within-scenario, and within-individual). Clustering is at the individual level.
For fathers who have children in their current family, we randomize at the individual level to show slightly different sets of questions.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
100 clusters * 10 scenarios * 2 alternatives = 2000 observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
The proportion of spending (a continuous variable) going to child versus family is drawn from a normal distribution in this experimental design. Taking the alternative with a lower proportion going to the child support-eligible child as being the control arm, we have 1000 observations in control and 1000 in treatment.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Supporting Documents and Materials

There is information in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access.

Request Information

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
National University of Singapore Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

There is information in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access.

Request Information


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

There is information in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access.

Request Information


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