Experimental Conversations

Experimental Conversations : Perspectives on Randomized Trials in Development Economics

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Description

Discussions of the use and limits of randomized control trials, considering the power of theory, external validity, gaps in knowledge, and what issues matter.

The practice of development economics has undergone something of a revolution as many economists have adopted new methods to answer perennial questions about the effectiveness of anti-poverty programs. In this book, prominent development economists discuss the use and impact of one of the most significant of these new methods, randomized control trials (RCTs) and field experiments. In extended interviews conducted over a period of several years, they explain their work and their thinking and consider the broader issues of how we learn about the world and how we can change it for the better.

These conversations offer specialists and nonspecialists alike a unique opportunity to hear economists speak in their own words, free of the confines of a particular study or econometric esoterica. The economists describe how they apply research findings in the way they think about the world, revealing their ideas about the power of theory, external validity, gaps in knowledge, and what issues matter. Also included are interviews with RCT observers, critics, sponsors, consumers, and others. Each interview provides a brief biography of the interviewee. Thorough annotations offer background and explanations for key ideas and studies referred to in the conversations.

Contributors
Abhijit Banerjee, Nancy Birdsall, Chris Blattman, Alex Counts, Tyler Cowen, Angus Deaton, Frank DeGiovanni, Esther Duflo, Pascaline Dupas, Xavi Gine, Rachel Glennerster, Judy Gueron, Elie Hassenfeld, Dean Karlan, Michael Kremer, David McKenzie, Jonathan Morduch, Lant Pritchett, Jonathan Robinson, Antoinette Schoar, Dean Yang
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Product details

  • Hardback | 400 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 27mm | 698.53g
  • MIT Press
  • Cambridge, United States
  • English
  • 1 b&w illus.; 2 Illustrations, unspecified
  • 0262035103
  • 9780262035101
  • 1,729,389

Review quote

In his new book Experimental Conversations: Perspectives on Randomized Trials in Development Economics, Tim Ogden has assembled interviews with a distinguished group that interacts with RCTs in every imaginable way.... [T]his collection provides great insight into many of the great minds of those producing and using development economics in our time.--The World Bank Development Impact Blog--
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About Timothy N. Ogden

Timothy N. Ogden is Managing Director of the Financial Access Initiative at New York University's Wagner School of Public Service. Michael is a professor of philosophy at the University of Chicago. Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee is the Ford Foundation Professor of Economics in the department of economics at MIT, a director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab at MIT, and a past president of the Bureau for Research in Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD). Jonathan Morduch is Professor of Public Policy and Economics at New York University's Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. He is the coauthor of The Economics of Microfinance (MIT Press) and Portfolios of the Poor: How the World's Poor Live on $2 a Day. Jaqueline Guéron is Professor of English Linguistics at the Université Paris III.
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