Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Randomized Controlled Trials: Part 1

For social scientists the whole world is a laboratory. Also, the materials/substances we analyze (humans in our case) hold a complex array of motivations.  This lack of control makes causality messy business. But, we are frequently called to pin-point solutions about what will work for, say, global poverty.  One promising method for determining what kinds of interventions have significant impact on reducing poverty are called "randomized controlled trials" (long ago these were simply known as "field experiments"). Below is John Bates Clark Medal winner Esther Duflo talking about randomized controlled trials.

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