Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2272141
 


 



Risk and Evidence of Bias in Randomized Controlled Trials in Economics


Alex Eble


Brown University - Department of Economics

Peter Boone


London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Diana Elbourne


London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

January 6, 2014

Mimeo, (2013), Brown University

Abstract:     
For many years, the randomized controlled trial (RCT) has been the main approach for assessing whether medical interventions do or do not work. Economists are increasingly using RCTs for similar purposes. A large body of literature in medicine links flaws in trial design, conduct and reporting to exaggerated estimates of treatment effects (bias). We use this literature to compare adequacy of reporting and risk of bias in RCTs published in major medical and economics journals between 2001 and 2011. We find that economics RCTs are at a higher risk of bias. We conclude with guidance on how to address this.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 62

Keywords: randomized controlled trials, field experiments, bias, treatment effect estimates

JEL Classification: C9, C90, C93, C10, C12, C18

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Date posted: May 31, 2013 ; Last revised: January 7, 2014

Suggested Citation

Eble, Alex and Boone, Peter and Elbourne, Diana, Risk and Evidence of Bias in Randomized Controlled Trials in Economics (January 6, 2014). Mimeo, (2013), Brown University. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2272141

Contact Information

Alex Eble (Contact Author)
Brown University - Department of Economics ( email )
64 Waterman Street
Providence, RI 02912
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.brown.edu/students/alexander_eble/index.htm
Peter Boone
London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )
Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
Diana Elbourne
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine ( email )
Keppel Street
London, WC1E 7HT
United Kingdom
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