NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

A Revealed Preference Approach to the Elicitation of Political Attitudes: Experimental Evidence on Anti-Americanism in Pakistan

Leonardo Bursztyn, Michael Callen, Bruno Ferman, Syed Ali Hasanain, Noam Yuchtman

NBER Working Paper No. 20153
Issued in May 2014
NBER Program(s):   DEV   POL

We develop an indirect, revealed preference method of eliciting attitudes and apply it in an experiment in Pakistan designed to understand the expression of anti-American views. Following the completion of a personality survey, we offer subjects a bonus payment for completing the survey. We find that around one-quarter of subjects forgo a 100 Rupee payment (roughly one-fifth of a day's wage) to avoid anonymously checking a box indicating gratitude toward the United States government for providing funds. We experimentally vary the identity of the funder, the payment size, and subjects' expectations of privacy, and find that rejection of the payment is responsive to all of these treatments. Rejection of the U.S. government bonus payment is an indirect measure of anti-American attitudes. This approach mitigates concerns with experimenter demand, social desirability, and other biases, which can distort reported attitudes. We discuss and present suggestive evidence of the advantages of our methodology.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w20153

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