Using Randomization in Development Economics Research: A Toolkit

89 Pages Posted: 24 Dec 2006 Last revised: 10 Apr 2010

See all articles by Esther Duflo

Esther Duflo

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics; Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD)

Rachel Glennerster

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics

Rachel Glennerster

Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Department of Economics

Michael Kremer

Harvard University - Department of Economics; Brookings Institution; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Center for Global Development; Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 2006

Abstract

This paper is a practical guide (a toolkit) for researchers, students and practitioners wishing to introduce randomization as part of a research design in the field. It first covers the rationale for the use of randomization, as a solution to selection bias and a partial solution to publication biases. Second, it discusses various ways in which randomization can be practically introduced in a field settings. Third, it discusses designs issues such as sample size requirements, stratification, level of randomization and data collection methods. Fourth, it discusses how to analyze data from randomized evaluations when there are departures from the basic framework. It reviews in particular how to handle imperfect compliance and externalities. Finally, it discusses some of the issues involved in drawing general conclusions from randomized evaluations, including the necessary use of theory as a guide when designing evaluations and interpreting results.

Suggested Citation

Duflo, Esther and Glennerster, Rachel and Glennerster, Rachel and Kremer, Michael R., Using Randomization in Development Economics Research: A Toolkit (December 2006). NBER Working Paper No. t0333. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=953351

Esther Duflo (Contact Author)

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Rachel Glennerster

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics ( email )

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Rachel Glennerster

Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Department of Economics ( email )

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Michael R. Kremer

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

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