Randomization in Field Experiments

Peter, N., & Soetevent, A. R. (2019). "Randomization in field experiments". In Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Experimental Economics. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing. doi: https://doi.org/10.4337/9781788110563.00015

28 Pages Posted: 22 Aug 2018 Last revised: 20 Jul 2020

See all articles by Noemi Peter

Noemi Peter

University of Groningen

Adriaan R. Soetevent

University of Groningen

Date Written: July 19, 2018

Abstract

This chapter discusses several important topics related to randomization in field experiments. In the field, researchers face constraints in the design they can implement and/or the type of data that can be collected. The chapter looks at such constraints from the point of view of randomization. We discuss challenges posed by these constraints and possible ways to tackle them, illustrated with examples from articles published in top economics journals. We review how randomization can help to estimate treatment effects. We discuss how treatment spillovers that invalidate SUTVA can be addressed by choosing different levels of randomization. We pay attention to implementation and practical issues that matter in selecting the level of randomization, and to the use of covariates in the design and analysis stage. We also discuss how insufficient control of the assignment mechanism or partial treatment compliance may lead to failures, and how such failures can be prevented.

Keywords: field experiments, randomization, causality, treatment spillovers

JEL Classification: C93, J0, C10

Suggested Citation

Peter, Noemi and Soetevent, Adriaan R., Randomization in Field Experiments (July 19, 2018). Peter, N., & Soetevent, A. R. (2019). "Randomization in field experiments". In Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Experimental Economics. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing. doi: https://doi.org/10.4337/9781788110563.00015, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3229641

Noemi Peter

University of Groningen ( email )

P.O. Box 800
Groningen, Groningen 9700 AV
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/noemipeter

Adriaan R. Soetevent (Contact Author)

University of Groningen ( email )

P.O. Box 800
9700 AV Groningen
Netherlands
++ 31 50 363 7018 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.soetevent.com

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