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Title Imports Make the Heart Grow Fonder: Soft Power, Trade, and Mass Opinion of Foreign Nation-States
Post date 08/11/2018
C1 Background and Explanation of Rationale

Does engaging in international trade improve a country’s image among foreign mass publics? Most states are concerned with how they are perceived by foreign citizens, yet relatively little scholarship examines what works in promoting this form of soft power. We are registering a survey experiment, to be conducted in Mexico, that is part of a larger study on whether mass evaluations of foreign countries improve with increases in international trade. Our previous analysis (available in a working paper) of observational survey data aggregated to the directed country dyad level suggests that increases in imports from country j to country i improve average evaluations of j by citizens in i. In other words, imports seem to foment mass goodwill toward their country source. Our goal with this experiment is to discern whether there is micro-level and experimental support for this finding.

C2 What are the hypotheses to be tested?

We hypothesize that knowledge of a country’s imports and the fact that the quantity of these imports has grown will boost support for that country. We test this on a sample of Mexicans with two different target countries (US and China) and two different survey experiments, one for each of the targets.

C3 How will these hypotheses be tested? *

The two experiments will occur at opposing ends of the questionnaire; their order in the questionnaire will be randomized; and randomization will occur independently in each. Here are the questions/experiments. In the China experiment, we expect opinions of China to be higher among the treated, who are told about the growth of imports from China and a few examples of such imports, than among the control, who are told nothing about imports. In the US experiment, we expect opinions of the US to be higher among the treated, who are told about the growth of imports from the US and a few examples of such imports, than among the control, who are told nothing about imports.

China Experiment
Tratamiento 1
En las últimas décadas, la cantidad de importaciones desde China a México ha aumentado. Así, muchos productos, como computadoras de Lenovo y teléfonos celulares de Huawei y Apple, están hechos en China y vendidos aquí en México.
¿Tiene Ud. una muy buena, buena, mala, o muy mala opinión sobre China?

Control
¿Tiene Ud. una muy buena, buena, mala, o muy mala opinión sobre China?

US Experiment
Tratamiento 1
En las últimas décadas, la cantidad de importaciones desde los Estados Unidos ha aumentado. Muchos productos, como coches de Nissan y Chevrolet, gasolina, y carne de cardo están hechos en los Estados Unidos y vendidos aquí en México.
¿Tiene Ud. una muy buena, buena, mala, o muy mala opinión sobre los Estados Unidos?

Control
¿Tiene Ud. una muy buena, buena, mala, o muy mala opinión sobre los Estados Unidos?

C4 Country Mexico
C5 Scale (# of Units) 1200
C6 Was a power analysis conducted prior to data collection? No
C7 Has this research received Insitutional Review Board (IRB) or ethics committee approval? Yes
C8 IRB Number 18-0421
C9 Date of IRB Approval July 16, 2018
C10 Will the intervention be implemented by the researcher or a third party? Data OPM, the survey firm
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? No
C13 JEL Classification(s) F14