Experimentation at Scale

41 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2017

See all articles by Karthik Muralidharan

Karthik Muralidharan

University of California, San Diego (UCSD)

Paul Niehaus

University of California, San Diego (UCSD)

Date Written: October 2017

Abstract

This paper makes the case for greater use of randomized experiments “at scale.” We review various critiques of experimental program evaluation in developing countries, and discuss how experimenting at scale along three specific dimensions – the size of the sampling frame, the number of units treated, and the size of the unit of randomization – can help alleviate them. We find that program evaluation randomized controlled trials published in top journals over the last 15 years have typically been “small” in these senses, but also identify a number of examples – including from our own work – demonstrating that experimentation at much larger scales is both feasible and valuable.

Suggested Citation

Muralidharan, Karthik and Niehaus, Paul, Experimentation at Scale (October 2017). NBER Working Paper No. w23957. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3057188

Karthik Muralidharan (Contact Author)

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Mail Code 0502
La Jolla, CA 92093-0112
United States

Paul Niehaus

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Mail Code 0502
La Jolla, CA 92093-0112
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
9
Abstract Views
102
PlumX Metrics