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Title Weathering the Storm: Discordant Learning about Reputations for Reliability
Post date 09/04/2018
C1 Background and Explanation of Rationale

This research focuses on reputations for reliability in alliance behavior. A reputation for reliability is posed as information regarding the likelihood that a state follows through with its alliance commitments. We anticipate that reputation change follows a Bayesian process where reputation acts as a prior while new observation of the state’s behavior act as additional data. The observer then updates the prior using the new data to develop a posterior belief regarding the state’s behavior (an updated reputation).

Whether or not there is a change in the quality (good or bad) of a reputation, therefore, depends on the new observations. For the purposes of this theory, let us divide this information into two types: congruent and incongruent. Congruent information, the observation of behavior that is in line with the prior, results in a posterior belief that is in agreement with the prior belief. For ease of interpretation, a state that has a good reputation for reliability and that demonstrates that reliability in the present will continue to have a good reputation for reliability.

C2 What are the hypotheses to be tested?

Hypothesis 1a: In minor crises, good reputations act as good will reservoirs that will sustain the positive reputation of the state.

Hypothesis 1b: In minor crises, states with a middling reputation will suffer a loss in reputation.

Hypothesis 2a: In major crises, all states will suffer a loss of reputation.

Hypothesis 2b: A state with a good reputation for reliability will suffer a greater decrease in reputation than states with middling reputations.

C3 How will these hypotheses be tested? *

We will employ a survey experiment using the Mechanical Turk infrastructure.

C4 Country United States
C5 Scale (# of Units) 200 respondents
C6 Was a power analysis conducted prior to data collection? This is the pilot which will help inform the power analysis moving forward.
C7 Has this research received Insitutional Review Board (IRB) or ethics committee approval? Yes
C8 IRB Number 18-1784
C9 Date of IRB Approval 08/13/2018
C10 Will the intervention be implemented by the researcher or a third party? Researchers
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? not provided by authors
C13 JEL Classification(s) not provided by authors