I had an op-ed published yesterday in the FT with Abhijit Banerjee, Pranab Bardhan, Esther Duflo, Erica Field, Asim Khwaja, Dilip Mookherjee, Rohini Pande and Raghuram Rajan, discussing the recent crisis in microfinance in India. You may need to register (for free) with FT.com to read the whole thing.
This past week, wrangling over the Bush-era tax cuts has riveted Washington... If only there were a scientific way to determine the real impact of taxation on industriousness, labor supply, and innovation.
According to some scholars, there is. Randomly assign a representative sample of the population — say, 10,000taxpayers — a lower tax rate, and see what happens...
It has long been the standard practice in medical testing: Give drug treatment to one group while another, the control group, goes without.
Now, New York City is applying the same methodology to assess one of its programs to prevent homelessness.
But some public officials and legal aid groups have denounced the study as unethical and cruel, and have called on the city to stop the study and to grant help to all the test subjects who had been denied assistance.
IPA Research Affiliate David McKenzie put together this Chart based on some of his research for the World Bank blog. The migration study wasn't randomized, but was based on 4 surveys and the next-best statistical methodology. And with impacts that big, you have quite a lot of room for bias.
El Profesor Dean Karlan, presidente de IPA, institución que hace evaluación de impactos a través de experimentos aleatorios, habló en Perú acerca de las últimos descubrimientos en el campo de las Microfinanzas. El evento fue organizado por el Instituto del Perú de la Universidad San Martin y se tituló “Microfinanzas: ¿Que funciona y que no?
Al evento asistieron diversas personas ligadas al mundo de las Microfinanzas en el Perú.
We did a study in 2003-2006 with the Kenyan Ministry of Education and a non-profit International Child Support. In their Analysis, Esther Duflo, Pascaline Dupas and Michael Kremer found positive results both from training teachers in the national AIDS curriculum, and providing incentives for girls to stay in school.
A lot of the papers in say experimental social psychology published today could have been written a thousand years ago so psychology is behind its time. More generally, random clinical trials are way behind their time. An alternative history in which Aristotle or one of his students extolled the virtue of randomization and testing does not seem impossible and yet it would have changed the world.