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Title Encouraging Cooperation with the State - A Field Experiment on Household Connections to the Police
Post date 11/05/2018
C1 Background and Explanation of Rationale Throughout the developing world, individuals are often reluctant to cooperate with the state’s security apparatus. Not only are crimes reported to the police at systematically lower rates in developing compared to developed countries, but individuals regularly bypass the state and rely on other actors for protection. This project seeks to understand the conditions under which individuals are willing to rely on the state rather than on informal means, specifically community justice in the form of mob violence, for protection and the establishment of order. It evaluates the impact of a home-based alarm system that aims to facilitate access to the police and to increase the capacity of the police to intervene in emergency situations. This registration pertains to a field experiment that takes place in a semi-urban police precinct in South Africa where support for community justice is high. The experimental sample contains 250 households of which 100 were assigned to receive an alarm system. A baseline survey was conducted with one member of each household. Outcomes will be measured through an endline survey with two members per household.
C2 What are the hypotheses to be tested?

The main hypotheses state that the treatment will

1) increase individuals’ willingness to reach out to the police in an emergency
2) increase or decrease individuals’ willingness to reach out to community members in an emergency, depending on whether the police and the community are seen as substitutes or complements.
3) decrease the willingness to instigate or participate in community violence against criminals.
4) decrease support for community involvement in criminal sanctioning by reducing individuals’ perceived risk of crime victimization.
5) increase or decrease support for community involvement in criminal sanctioning depending on whether it improves or worsens perceptions of police effectiveness.

We will estimate both intent-to-treat (ITT) and complier average causal (CACE) effects.

C3 How will these hypotheses be tested? * The unit of observation for almost all analyses will be the respondent. Intent-to-treat effects will be estimated using OLS regression. The specification will model outcomes as a function of an intercept, a treatment assignment indicator, a variable that stores the number of respondents interviewed in a household, block indicators and a set of covariates that will be selected through a LASSO procedure. Estimates of the CACE will be obtained through instrumental variable regression using the same specification. P-values will be obtained through randomization inference. Please see the attached pre-analysis plan for more details.
C4 Country South Africa
C5 Scale (# of Units) 250 households, 2 respondents per household
C6 Was a power analysis conducted prior to data collection? Yes
C7 Has this research received Insitutional Review Board (IRB) or ethics committee approval? Yes
C8 IRB Number AAAR6346
C9 Date of IRB Approval 11/02/2018 (approval of endline survey)
C10 Will the intervention be implemented by the researcher or a third party? MeMeZa Shout Crime Prevention
C11 Did any of the research team receive remuneration from the implementing agency for taking part in this research? No
C12 If relevant, is there an advance agreement with the implementation group that all results can be published? Yes
C13 JEL Classification(s) not provided by authors