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Policy evaluation, randomized controlled trials, and external validity—A systematic review

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  • Peters, Jörg
  • Langbein, Jörg
  • Roberts, Gareth

Abstract

This paper reviews all Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) published in leading economic journals between 2009 and 2014 with respect to how they deal with potential hazards to external validity: Hawthorne and John-Henry effects, general equilibrium effects, specific sample problems, and special care in treatment provision. We find that the majority of published RCTs does not discuss these hazards and many do not provide the necessary information to assess potential problems.

Suggested Citation

  • Peters, Jörg & Langbein, Jörg & Roberts, Gareth, 2016. "Policy evaluation, randomized controlled trials, and external validity—A systematic review," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 147(C), pages 51-54.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:147:y:2016:i:c:p:51-54
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econlet.2016.08.013
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    Cited by:

    1. Andor, Mark Andreas & Gerster, Andreas & Peters, Jörg & Schmidt, Christoph M., 2017. "Social norms and energy conservation beyond the US," Ruhr Economic Papers 714, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.

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    Keywords

    Policy evaluation; Internal validity; External validity; Randomized controlled trials;

    JEL classification:

    • C83 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Survey Methods; Sampling Methods
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments

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