This book provides a comprehensive yet accessible guide to running randomized impact evaluations of social programs. Drawing on the experience of researchers at the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, which has run hundreds of such evaluations in dozens of countries throughout the world, it offers practical insights on how to use this powerful technique, especially in resource-poor environments.
This step-by-step guide explains why and when randomized evaluations are useful, in what situations they should be used, and how to prioritize different evaluation opportunities. It shows how to design and analyze studies that answer important questions while respecting the constraints of those working on and benefiting from the program being evaluated. The book gives concrete tips on issues such as improving the quality of a study despite tight budget constraints, and demonstrates how the results of randomized impact evaluations can inform policy.
With its self-contained modules, this one-of-a-kind guide is easy to navigate. It also includes invaluable references and a checklist of the common pitfalls to avoid.
Provides the most up-to-date guide to running randomized evaluations of social programs, especially in developing countries
Offers practical tips on how to complete high-quality studies in even the most challenging environments
Self-contained modules allow for easy reference and flexible teaching and learning
Comprehensive yet nontechnical
Abbreviations and Acronyms ix
1 The Experimental Approach 1
2 Why Randomize? 24
3 Asking the Right Questions 66
4 Randomizing 98
5 Outcomes and Instruments 180
6 Statistical Power 241
7 Threats 298
8 Analysis 324
9 Drawing Policy Lessons 386