The Power and Pitfalls of Experiments in Development Economics: Some Non-random Reflections
Impact evaluation based on randomized controlled trials (RCTs) offers a powerful tool that has fundamentally reshaped development economics by offering novel solutions to long-standing problems of weak causal identification. Nonetheless, RCTs suffer important and underappreciated pitfalls, some of which are intrinsic to the method when applied to economic problems, others that are the result of methodological boosterism. Among the pitfalls are ethical dilemmas, uncontrollable treatments that result in a 'faux exogeneity,' distortion of the research agenda, and a tendency to estimate interventions' abstract efficacy rather than their effectiveness in practice. We illustrate these points through the literature on smallholder capital access and productivity growth. Ultimately, we argue for a methodological pluralism that recognizes all identification strategies' limitations. Copyright 2010, Oxford University Press.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 32 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP, UK|
Phone: (414) 918-3190
Fax: 01865 267 985
Web page: http://aepp.oxfordjournals.org/
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.oup.co.uk/journals|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:apecpp:v:32:y:2010:i:4:p:515-548. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press)or (Christopher F. Baum)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.