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Title Can Intergroup Contact Affect Attitudes: A Natural Experiment in Israeli Medical Clinics
Post date 10/13/2018
C1 Background and Explanation of Rationale In many societies, even when segregation or conflict are pronounced, brief intergroup contact in busses, markets, shops and hospitals is prevalent. Such contact is often theorized as a force influencing intergroup attitudes as well as voting behavior and violence. Despite the prevalence of such intergroup contact, and despite the prominent role of contact in multiple theoretical frameworks of ethnic politics, there is little evidence regarding its causal effects. Exploiting the random assignment of patients to doctors in medical clinics in Israel, and leveraging a treatment evaluation survey, I introduce a natural experiment suited to identify the causal effects of intergroup contact between Jewish (Palestinian) patients and Palestinian (Jewish) doctors. I further explore how doctors’ quality and patients’ partisan affinity, moderate the effects of contact.
C2 What are the hypotheses to be tested?

H1: Intergroup contact will reduce prejudice amongst patients
H2: Intergroup contact will reduce social distance amongst patients
H3: Intergroup contact will foster peaceful attitudes amongst patients
H4: Intergroup contact will increase trust amongst patients
H5: The effects of contact are moderated by doctor quality
H6: The effects of contact are moderated by patients’ partisan affinity

All hypotheses relate to survey outcomes detailed in my pre-analysis plan.

C3 How will these hypotheses be tested? *

The clinic that I am collaborating with collects demographic and service related information from patients, as well as satisfaction survey data, in the day following treatment. In order to study the effects of contact on intergroup attitudes, clinic X’s evaluation team will embed within their routine surveys several questions relating to intergroup attitudes. Respondents who participate in the survey, will be approached for a second wave of a similar survey 10 days following their original treatment in order to test the persistence of identified effects.

By embedding additional questions within clinic X’s routine survey, I am able to test whether Jewish (Palestinian) patients experiencing contact with Palestinian (Jewish) doctors differ in their intergroup attitudes from counterparts who do not experience intergroup contact during their medical treatment.

C4 Country Israel
C5 Scale (# of Units) Expected 2500 (Over a period of 6-8 weeks). For more information see pre-analysis plan.
C6 Was a power analysis conducted prior to data collection? Yes
C7 Has this research received Insitutional Review Board (IRB) or ethics committee approval? Exempt approval by the IRB committee
C8 IRB Number n/a
C9 Date of IRB Approval n/a
C10 Will the intervention be implemented by the researcher or a third party? The survey to measure outcomes will be implemented by my partnering clinics. Treatment is assigned naturally as part of clinic routine. For more information see pre-analysis plan.
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