IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/dia/wpaper/dt201501.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The gold standard for randomized evaluations: from discussion of method to political economy

Author

Listed:
  • Florent Bédécarrats

    (AFD Paris, France)

  • Isabelle Guérin

    (IRD CESSMA)

  • François Roubaud

    (IRD, UMR DIAL, PSL, Université Paris-Dauphine)

Abstract

(english) This last decade has seen the emergence of a new field of research in development economics: randomised control trials. This paper explores the contrast between the (many) limitations and (very narrow) real scope of these methods and their success in sheer number and media coverage. Our analysis suggests that the paradox is due to a particular economic and political mix driven by the innovative strategies used by this new school’s researchers and by specific interests and preferences in the academic world and the donor community. _________________________________ (français) La dernière décennie a vu l'émergence d'un nouveau champ de recherche en économie du développement : les méthodes expérimentales d'évaluation d'impacts par assignation aléatoire. Cet article explore le contraste entre d’une part les limites (nombreuses) et la circonscription (très étroite) du champ réel d'application de ces méthodes et d’autre part leur succès, attesté à la fois par leur nombre et leur forte médiatisation. L’analyse suggère que ce contraste est le fruit d’une conjonction économique et politique particulière, émanant de stratégies novatrices de la part des chercheurs de cette nouvelle école, et d’intérêts et de préférences spécifiques provenant à la fois du monde académique et de la communauté des donateurs.

Suggested Citation

  • Florent Bédécarrats & Isabelle Guérin & François Roubaud, 2015. "The gold standard for randomized evaluations: from discussion of method to political economy," Working Papers DT/2015/01, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
  • Handle: RePEc:dia:wpaper:dt201501
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://dial.ird.fr/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/2015-01-EN-The-gold-standard-for-randomized-evaluations-from-discussion-of-method-to-political-economy.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2015
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Carvalho, Luciano Castro de & Di Serio, Luiz Carlos & Vasconcellos, Marcos Augusto de, 2012. "Competitividade das nações: análise da métrica utilizada pelo World Economic Forum," RAE - Revista de Administração de Empresas, FGV-EAESP Escola de Administração de Empresas de São Paulo (Brazil), vol. 52(4), July.
    2. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2003. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 170-192, March.
    3. Tanguy Bernard & Jocelyne Delarue & Jean-David Naudet, 2012. "Impact evaluations: a tool for accountability? Lessons from experience at Agence Française de D�veloppement," Journal of Development Effectiveness, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(2), pages 314-327, June.
    4. Bosker, Maarten & Westbrock, Bastian, 2014. "A theory of trade in a global production network," CEPR Discussion Papers 9870, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Michael Rosholm & Lars Skipper, 2009. "Is labour market training a curse for the unemployed? Evidence from a social experiment," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(2), pages 338-365, March.
    6. Escaith, Hubert & Lindenberg, Nannette & Miroudot, Sébastien, 2010. "International supply chains and trade elasticity in times of global crisis," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2010-08, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
    7. Joshua D. Angrist & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2009. "Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist's Companion," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 8769.
    8. Guilhoto, J. J. M. & Sesso Filho, U. A., 2005. "Estimação da Matriz Insumo-Produto a Partir De Dados Preliminares das Contas Nacionais [Estimation of input-output matrix using preliminary data from national accounts]," MPRA Paper 38212, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Morvant-Roux, Solène & Guérin, Isabelle & Roesch, Marc & Moisseron, Jean-Yves, 2014. "Adding Value to Randomization with Qualitative Analysis: The Case of Microcredit in Rural Morocco," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 302-312.
    10. James J. Heckman, 1991. "Randomization and Social Policy Evaluation Revisited," NBER Technical Working Papers 0107, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Howard White, 2014. "Current Challenges in Impact Evaluation," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 26(1), pages 18-30, January.
    12. Martin Ravallion, 2009. "Evaluation in the Practice of Development," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 24(1), pages 29-53, March.
    13. Labrousse, Agnès, 2010. "Nouvelle économie du développement et essais cliniques randomisés : une mise en perspective d’un outil de preuve et de gouvernement," Revue de la Régulation - Capitalisme, institutions, pouvoirs, Association Recherche et Régulation, vol. 7.
    14. James Heckman & Jeffrey Smith & Christopher Taber, 1998. "Accounting For Dropouts In Evaluations Of Social Programs," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(1), pages 1-14, February.
    15. Guilhoto, Joaquim José Martins & Sesso Filho, Umberto Antonio, 2010. "Estimação da matriz insumo-produto utilizando dados preliminares das contas nacionais: aplicação e análise de indicadores econômicos para o Brasil em 2005 [Estimation of input-output matrix using p," MPRA Paper 37539, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Kei-Mu Yi, 2003. "Can Vertical Specialization Explain the Growth of World Trade?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(1), pages 52-102, February.
    17. Kei-Mu Yi, 2010. "Can Multistage Production Explain the Home Bias in Trade?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 364-393, March.
    18. Ayç?l Yücer & Joaquim Guilhoto & Jean-Marc Siroën, 2014. "Internal and International Vertical Specialization of Brazilian states – An Input-Output analysis," Revue d'économie politique, Dalloz, vol. 124(4), pages 599-612.
    19. Jyrki Ali-Yrkkö & Petri Rouvinen & Timo Seppälä & Pekka Ylä-Anttila, 2011. "Who Captures Value in Global Supply Chains? Case Nokia N95 Smartphone," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 263-278, September.
    20. McCallum, John, 1995. "National Borders Matter: Canada-U.S. Regional Trade Patterns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 615-623, June.
    21. Glenn W. Harrison, 2011. "Randomisation and Its Discontents," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 20(4), pages 626-652, August.
    22. Hummels, David & Ishii, Jun & Yi, Kei-Mu, 2001. "The nature and growth of vertical specialization in world trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 75-96, June.
    23. Abhijit Banerjee & Dean Karlan & Jonathan Zinman, 2015. "Six Randomized Evaluations of Microcredit: Introduction and Further Steps," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 1-21, January.
    24. Lant Pritchett, Justin Sandefur, 2013. "Context Matters for Size: Why External Validity Claims and Development Practice Don't Mix-Working Paper 336," Working Papers 336, Center for Global Development.
    25. Florent Bédécarrats, 2012. "L'impact de la microfinance : un enjeu politique au prisme de ses controverses scientifiques," Mondes en développement, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(2), pages 127-142.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Florent Bédécarrats & Isabelle Guérin & François Roubaud, 2019. "All that Glitters is not Gold. The Political Economy of Randomized Evaluations in Development," Development and Change, International Institute of Social Studies, vol. 50(3), pages 735-762, May.
    2. Florent BEDECARRATS & Isabelle GUERIN & François ROUBAUD, 2017. "L'étalon-or des évaluations randomisées : économie politique des expérimentations aléatoires dans le domaine du développement," Working Paper 753120cd-506f-4c5f-80ed-7, Agence française de développement.
    3. Joana Silva Afonso, 2020. "Impact evaluation, social performance assessment and standardisation: reflections from microfinance evaluations in Pakistan and Zimbabwe," Working Papers in Economics & Finance 2020-14, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth Business School, Economics and Finance Subject Group.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Florent Bédécarrats & Isabelle Guérin & François Roubaud, 2019. "All that Glitters is not Gold. The Political Economy of Randomized Evaluations in Development," Development and Change, International Institute of Social Studies, vol. 50(3), pages 735-762, May.
    2. Florent Bédécarrats & Isabelle Guérin & François Roubaud, 2015. "The gold standard for randomised evaluations: from discussion of method to political economics," Working Papers CEB 15-009, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    3. Florent Bedecarrats & Isabelle Guérin & François Roubaud, 2017. "L'étalon-or des évaluations randomisées : du discours de la méthode à l'économie politique," Working Papers ird-01445209, HAL.
    4. Joachim Guilhoto & Jean-Marc Siroën & Ayçil Yücer, 2015. "The gravity model, global value chain and the brazilian states," Working Papers DT/2015/02, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    5. Florent BEDECARRATS & Isabelle GUERIN & François ROUBAUD, 2017. "L'étalon-or des évaluations randomisées : économie politique des expérimentations aléatoires dans le domaine du développement," Working Paper 753120cd-506f-4c5f-80ed-7, Agence française de développement.
    6. Guilhoto, Joaquim José Martins & Siroën, Jean-Marc & Yucer, Ayçil, 2013. "Internal and International Vertical Specialization– Estimations For Brazil and new Approach to Gravity Models," MPRA Paper 46897, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. repec:dau:papers:123456789/11720 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2004. "Trade Costs," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(3), pages 691-751, September.
    9. Jean-Marc Siroën & Aycil Yucer, 2012. "The impact of MERCOSUR on trade of Brazilian states," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 148(3), pages 553-582, September.
    10. Pol Antràs & Alonso de Gortari, 2020. "On the Geography of Global Value Chains," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 88(4), pages 1553-1598, July.
    11. Willert, Bianca, 2017. "How intermediates trade affects the formation of free trade agreements: A study analyzing pairwise trade flows of 70 countries," Thuenen-Series of Applied Economic Theory 147, University of Rostock, Institute of Economics.
    12. Kei-Mu Yi, 2005. "Vertical specialization and the border effect puzzle," Working Papers 05-24, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    13. Kei-Mu Yi, 2010. "Can Multistage Production Explain the Home Bias in Trade?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 364-393, March.
    14. Christian Volpe Martincus, 2016. "Out of the Border Labyrinth: An Assessment of Trade Facilitation Initiatives in Latin America and the Caribbean," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 96856, February.
    15. Agnosteva, Delina E. & Anderson, James E. & Yotov, Yoto V., 2019. "Intra-national trade costs: Assaying regional frictions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 32-50.
    16. Coeurdacier, Nicolas, 2009. "Do trade costs in goods market lead to home bias in equities?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 86-100, February.
    17. Xiao JIANG, 2015. "Employment effects of trade in intermediate and final goods: An empirical assessment," International Labour Review, International Labour Organization, vol. 154(2), pages 147-164, June.
    18. Cletus C. Coughlin & Dennis Novy, 2013. "Is the International Border Effect Larger than the Domestic Border Effect? Evidence from US Trade," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 59(2), pages 249-276, June.
    19. Kose, M. Ayhan & Yi, Kei-Mu, 2006. "Can the standard international business cycle model explain the relation between trade and comovement?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 267-295, March.
    20. Markusen, James R. & Venables, Anthony J., 2007. "Interacting factor endowments and trade costs: A multi-country, multi-good approach to trade theory," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 333-354, November.
    21. Michael Sposi & Kei-Mu Yi & Jing Zhang, 2021. "Trade Integration, Global Value Chains, and Capital Accumulation," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 69(3), pages 505-539, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Impact evaluation; Randomized control trial; Experimental method; Methodology; Political economy; Development; Evaluation d'impact; méthode expérimentale; Essai randomisé; Méthodologie; Economie politique; Développement.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • A11 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Role of Economics; Role of Economists
    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
    • C18 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Methodolical Issues: General
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:dia:wpaper:dt201501. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/diallfr.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Loic Le Pezennec (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/diallfr.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.