NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
loading...

Randomization and Social Policy Evaluation Revisited

James J. Heckman

NBER Technical Working Paper No. 107
Issued in July 1991, Revised in January 2020
NBER Program(s):Labor Studies

This paper examines the case for randomized controlled trials in economics. I revisit my previous paper “Randomization and Social Policy Evaluation” and update its message. I present a brief summary of the history of randomization in economics. I identify two waves of enthusiasm for the method as “Two Awakenings” because of the near-religious zeal associated with each wave. The First Wave substantially contributed to the development of microeconometrics because of the flawed nature of the experimental evidence. The Second Wave has improved experimental designs to avoid some of the technical statistical issues identified by econometricians in the wake of the First Wave. However, the deep conceptual issues about parameters estimated, and the economic interpretation and the policy relevance of the experimental results have not been addressed in the Second Wave.

download in pdf format
   (304 K)

email paper

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/t0107

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Banerjee and Duflo w14467 The Experimental Approach to Development Economics
Deaton w14690 Instruments of development: Randomization in the tropics, and the search for the elusive keys to economic development
Brock, Durlauf, and West w10025 Policy Evaluation in Uncertain Economic Environments
Imbens and Wooldridge w14251 Recent Developments in the Econometrics of Program Evaluation
Heckman t0184 Randomization as an Instrumental Variable
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us